Trump says Matt Gaetz 'never asked' for a pardon and 'totally denied' sex trafficking allegations

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued a statement in defense of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is entangled in a sex trafficking investigation.

In a statement, Trump denied that Gaetz asked him for a pardon.

"Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon," the statement said. "It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him."

The New York Times reported this week that Gaetz had sought a blanket pardon before the former president left office.

According to the Times:

It was unclear whether Mr. Gaetz or the White House knew at the time about the inquiry, or who else he sought pardons for. Mr. Gaetz did not tell White House aides that he was under investigation for potential sex trafficking violations when he made the request. But top White House lawyers and officials viewed the request for a pre-emptive pardon as a nonstarter that would set a bad precedent, the people said.