Congressman Matt Gaetz hasn’t been on Fox News since a disastrously awkward performance on Tucker Carlson’s show last week, and he hasn’t gotten any public support from former President Donald Trump’s inner circle since the news broke of an apparent Justice Department investigation into his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
But if Gaetz is starving for attention, he’ll get it pretty soon: This weekend, he’s slated to appear at an event run by the organizers of the January 6 rally in D.C. that preceded the Capitol riot.
Gaetz was announced Tuesday as part of a lineup of prominent Republicans who will appear at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami for Women for America First’s “Save America Summit,” which starts Thursday. Other speakers at the event will include Sen. Rand Paul, six Republican House members including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Louie Gohmert, actor Nick Searcy, and various right-wing media personalities.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has been a fearless leader in Washington,” Women for America First chair Amy Kremer said in the email. “Few members of Congress have been more willing than Matt to stand up and fight on behalf of President Trump and his America First Agenda. We are honored to have Congressman Gaetz speak at the Save America Summit.”
Gaetz is probably eager for a friendly audience, considering the barrage of bad news he’s gotten lately. The Justice Department probe into Gaetz, which was launched during the Trump administration, reportedly centers around a series of transactions two years ago and whether or not Gaetz paid to have sex with a girl who was 17 at the time. Gaetz has denied having sex with an underage girl or soliciting sex work.
During Trump’s final weeks in office, Gaetz reportedly sought a blanket pardon for himself and other members of Congress, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Trump did not issue a pardon for Gaetz, and in a statement to the Times a Gaetz spokesman denied that he sought a pardon from Trump. On Wednesday, Trump put out a statement also denying Gaetz had asked him for a pardon.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump said in a statement issued through his office. “It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”
Gaetz emerged as one of Trump’s top allies during his presidency, and grew close to Trump as a result. Gaetz, for example, found out he had tested positive for COVID-19 while on Air Force One, and in his book, bragged about taking calls from Trump while having sex.
“The president has called me when I was in my car, asleep in the middle of the night on my Longworth Office cot, on the throne, on airplanes, in nightclubs, and even in the throes of passion (yes, I answered),” Gaetz wrote in his memoir, which was published last year.
Previously, Kremer’s group organized the Save America Rally in D.C. to protest the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s election. During that rally, Trump spoke and told attendees to “fight like hell” against the results of the election.
Following the rally, hundreds of furious Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, interrupting the certification of the results for several hours. Five people died as a result of the riot, hundreds have since been arrested and charged in connection with the riot, and Trump was impeached by the House for a second time.
Gaetz is slated to appear at the Women for America First event Friday night, according to an email from the group and will headline the group’s “BBQ, Boots, and Bluegrass Dinner.” Other events include a Rush Limbaugh memorial golf tournament and a “Dr. Seuss Low Country Boil.”