Trump Says Gaetz Never Asked for Pardon, NY Times Wrong

Former President Donald Trump refuted a New York Times report that Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who’s now embroiled in a controversial federal probe, had requested a “blanket pardon.”

“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump wrote in a Wednesday statement. “It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”

The Times reported Tuesday that sources accused Gaetz of speaking to White House officials about a preemptive pardon from President Trump before he left office. The report claimed the aides had shared the request but did not know whether Gaetz spoke directly to Trump about it.

Gaetz has acknowledged he’s been under investigation for an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl, including potential violations of sex trafficking laws after accusations that he paid for women to travel with him.

Gaetz has denied wrongdoing, contending the women he has dated are of legal age and any payments were also legal and made to cover travel for women he was dating.

Also, Gaetz has alleged an extortion attempt to bilk his family of $25 million, with a former Department of Justice official promising to make the allegations and investigation go away.