Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) recently claimed that travel records would prove that he did not have sex with a 17-year-old girl -- but fact checkers have not been able to verify his assertions.
During an interview on Fox News this week, Gaetz insisted that he did not have a relationship with the girl and said that travel records would back him up. He also suggested that he was innocent of sex trafficking.
But The Washington Post's Salvador Rizzo looked into the travel records and "found nothing to support Gaetz's claim."
"The disclosures Gaetz did file with the House Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission, regarding official trips, campaign expenses or speaking events, do not include the information he told Fox News viewers could be checked," Rizzo explained. "These forms do not require that Gaetz list every person who traveled with him on the trips he disclosed."
"The whole issue is a bit of a Catch-22: Gaetz is not required to file disclosures concerning his private life and expenses. But if he somehow used campaign or taxpayer funds for personal matters, there might be a paper trail to follow. However, using campaign or taxpayer funds for personal matters would be a crime unto itself," the report continued. "We repeatedly asked Gaetz's chief of staff Jillian Lane Wyant and his spokesman Luke Ball to show us the travel records supposedly debunking the allegations and received no response. We also sent a text message directly to Gaetz with our query and got no reply."
We searched through all the available records and found nothing to support Gaetz's claim. We repeatedly asked his staff to show us the records and heard crickets. We asked Gaetz directly — nothing, radio silence.
The Washington Post fact check awarded Gaetz with "Four Pinocchios" for his claim that travel records would prove his innocence.