Former Dept. of Justice officials on Wednesday criticized Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for how he's handling the news he is reportedly under a DOJ investigation for a possible sexual relationship with a teenaged girl and possible sex trafficking of a minor.
"The way he has behaved in the last 24 hours since this news broke, kind of flailing around on Fox News, and in multiple interviews with reporters, kind of, you know, implicating himself or raising charges that haven't been publicly alleged against him, trying to implicate Tucker Carlson and his own behavior shows you a person who is panicking under the spotlight," former Dept. of Justice Chief Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on MSNBC's "Deadline White House."
Host Nicolle Wallace added that "it looked like Tucker Carlson might have been wondering that, did he become a witness, if Matt Gaetz was saying 'you saw me with this girl we had dinner with you and your wife.'"
Wallace and Miller were referring to Congressman Gaetz's interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News Tuesday night, hours after the bombshell story broke. On-air, immediately after, Carlson called it the strangest interview he had ever conducted.
"It was really hard to tell what Gaetz was trying to do in that interview," former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance told Wallace. "He looked a lot like someone who desperately needs a lawyer to make sure he doesn't put himself into more trouble than he's already in."
"Something that fascinated me in the interview, Nicolle, was at one point he talked about FBI agents, trying to interview this supposed girlfriend, and he used language that has nothing to do with sex trafficking. He said that they wanted to talk with her about 'pay to play.' That's language that prosecutors use when they're talking about public corruption, about politicians who insist on being paid or compensated in order to take official action. So, nothing that we heard in the interview with Tucker Carlson really made sense and it certainly didn't benefit Gaetz."