Matt Gaetz takes out ad campaign attacking CNN to try to clear his name
Photo via Saul Loeb/AFP

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to include a correction issued by Politico, following publication of their story. The correction changes their initial description of Project Veritas, and is now reflected below.

On Wednesday, POLITICO reported that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has taken out a political ad attacking CNN as part of a PR offensive to try to deflect from the allegations of sex trafficking and misconduct.

"The new 30-second ad will be featured in the Florida Republican's congressional district and nationally on select cable networks, according to a statement from Gaetz's congressional campaign," reported Benjamin Din. "The ad marks the beginning of Gaetz's counteroffensive, as he 'fight[s] back against a multiweek fake news cycle against him,' it said."

"The ad incorporates footage obtained by Project Veritas, an organization that has a reputation for using deceptive practices in attempts to expose what it views as 'corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct', principally from liberal organizations or individuals," noted the report. "In the footage, a man identified as a CNN employee is heard making remarks about the news organization's coverage of Gaetz. A spokesperson for CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment."

Recent reporting indicates that an indicted Gaetz associate, former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg, has been cooperating with the Justice Department since last year, and may have given information against the congressman. Greenberg was allegedly an intermediary Gaetz used to Venmo money that was used to pay teenage girls.