According to a report from the Daily Beast's Matt Fuller, very few House Republicans are willing to go on the record about the multiple investigations swirling around Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), with the exception of a few who reside on the extreme rightwing fringe of the party.
With Gaetz courting controversy on an almost daily basis -- including now taking on the Pentagon -- House members confronted about the allegations he has been paying underaged girls for sex are unwilling to talk about him.
According to Fuller, "... all around Gaetz, members of Congress—Democrats and Republicans—are pretending nothing is wrong, that their colleague isn't credibly accused of paying for sex with a minor, " adding, "More broadly on the GOP side, the affected ignorance is stunning. When The Daily Beast asked Republicans about Gaetz staying on his committees, the usually talkative Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) sharply said he didn't have any comment to make about Gaetz 'one way or the other.'"
Reps. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) also begged off, with Fleischmann remarking, "That's something that every member of Congress has to deal with on an individual level, so I prefer really not to comment. I have not followed that situation."
One lawmaker willing to go on the record is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) who backed Gaetz remaining in his committee posts and dismissed questions about his future saying he doesn't see anything controversial about his remaining while the investigations continue.
One GOP lawmaker, who didn't want their name used, claimed no one is comfortable talking about Gaetz, with Fuller reporting, "we would be hard-pressed to find any 'sane member of the conference' who would defend Gaetz.
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), on the other hand, had no problem talking about the Florida Republican bluntly stating, "It's embarrassing. It just degrades the entire institution and confirms the worst perceptions people have of Congress and politicians, when a schmuck like that continues to hold the office and sit in a committee room," before adding Gaetz is a "world-class sleazeball."
"I have no doubt that he will not be in Congress for long," he added.
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