Congressman Matt Gaetz is going on the offensive, pushing a new ad and taking the fight to mainstream media amid sex trafficking allegations.
In a video released on Wednesday, the outspoken conservative placed the crosshairs on CNN after a video leaked by Project Veritas, a right-wing activist group founded by James O’Keefe, showing CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester suggesting that the cable news network was deliberately covering the allegations against Gaetz “to keep hurting him” because it would be “great” for the Democratic Party.
Gaetz opens the new ad, which will run locally in the Florida Panhandle and on “select cable networks,” showing his first public appearance since allegations broke at the Women for America First Summit at the Trump National Doral Miami resort in Miami-Dade County’s city of Doral. There, Gaetz struck a defiant tone, taking aim at Big Government and Big Tech.
“Big government, big tech, big business, big media, they all breathe a sigh of relief if I were no longer in the Congress fighting for you,” Gaetz says at the start of the 30-second ad.
The video then cuts to the leaked footage by Project Veritas, showing the CNN employee discuss why the firebrand Republican is a “problem” for Democrats.
“Like Matt Gaetz right now… He’s a problem for the Democratic Party because he’s so conservative,” the CNN employee says before the video cuts back to Gaetz’s address.
“There money is no good with me, and that scares them. And you know what? It should,” Gaetz continues. “They lie about me because I tell the truth about them, and I’m not going to stop.”
The ad then makes one final cut to Chester, who states that CNN is pushing the “propaganda” to smear Gaetz.
“It would be great for the Democratic Party to get him out. So we’re going to keep running those stories to keep hurting him and make it so that it can’t be buried. That’s propaganda,” Chester remarks in the leaked clip, which resulted in O’Keeffe being banned from Twitter.
Gaetz then concludes the TV spot by offering up a final warning to his supporters, claiming that the legacy media outlet is out to get them, noting “I’m just in the way.”
“So when you see the leaks and the lies and the falsehoods and the smears, when you see the anonymous sources and insiders forecasting my demise, know this: They aren’t really coming for me. They’re coming for you. I’m just in the way,” Gaetz affirms.
Gaetz, who represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District, is embroiled in a sex scandal after The New York Times reported last month that he had a relationship with a 17-year-old. The report accused the congressman of paying for the underage girl’s travel with him, which may violate federal sex trafficking laws.
The three-term congressman, and longtime ally of Donald Trump, has categorically denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime.
See the full ad below:
Our new ad is launching.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 21, 2021