On Friday, at the center of an explosive controversy that has lasted nearly a week, rapper Nicki Minaj posted the phone numbers of two reporters to Instagram, prompting a number of her fans to flood them with threats.
This situation appeared to excite Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) — who suggested on Twitter that Minaj, with her ability to take on reporters, could serve as former President Donald Trump's running mate for another race in 2024.
Trump has maintained a constantly adversarial relationship with the press, calling reporters who reveal unflattering information about him or fact-check his lies "fake news." Gaetz, a devout Trump follower currently under federal investigation as part of an alleged sex trafficking scheme, has similarly gone after the media — and even Fox News.
The reporters Minaj targeted, Sharlene Rampersad of The Guardian and James Fielding of The Daily Mail, have been trying to track down members of Minaj's family to confirm her controversial tweet on Monday claiming that she was skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine. "My cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine cuz his friend got it and became impotent," wrote Minaj. "His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding."
Attempts to track down Minaj's cousin or friend have been unsuccessful, and the Health Ministry of Trinidad has clarified that no such adverse event has been reported to them.