Former Republican Florida Rep. David Jolly blasted Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz on Wednesday for his “arrogance” in response to allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Jolly offered Gaetz advice while appearing on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” and said “the best thing” Gaetz could do is “shut up, hire a lawyer, and resign.” (RELATED: MSNBC Analyst John Heilemann Predicts ‘Florida Bro’ Matt Gaetz Is Politically Finished)
Guest host Chris Jansing began by stating that Gaetz isn’t hiding from the allegations, and said that he “seems to like getting into these kinds of frays.” She claimed that the DOJ isn’t someone “he wants to get into a fray with,” and added that he’s planning on “getting in front of things” by speaking to a conservative women’s group at former President Trump’s Doral, Florida, golf course on Friday. She then asked Jolly if he thought Gaetz could survive the allegations.
“I think the operative word, again, is arrogance. Look, the fact that he’s speaking to a conservative group today says as much about the conservative movement today as it does about Matt Gaetz,” Jolly responded. “I’ve said for a week now the best thing Matt Gaetz can do is shut up, hire a lawyer, and resign. And that means don’t attend these conservative gatherings, don’t try to recover yourself in conservative circles.”
Jolly went on to say that if the charges against Gaetz are true, then there is an underaged child victim involved, and that’s something that Gaetz shouldn’t be “flaunting.” He added that Gaetz was “ripping a page out of the Trump playbook” by trying to cause a distraction so that people look away from the allegations, referring to what many accused Trump of doing throughout his presidency to distract from controversy.
“If there is no indictment of Matt Gaetz, he very well might survive, but he will have a primary opponent in his re-election campaign in which … those candidates back home are already swirling and looking to run either against Matt Gaetz in a primary, or run for Congress should he not make it through this term,” he concluded.
Gaetz confirmed on Mar. 30 that he is the subject of a federal sex trafficking investigation linked to a $25 million extortion plot that he claims he’s the victim of. He has denied any wrongdoing in the investigation, but has reportedly been known to show nude photos of women to colleagues on the House floor, as well as discuss having sex with them. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the day following Gaetz’s revelations of the investigation that he would remove Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee if the allegations against him were found to be true.