- Matt Gaetz tweeted an ad due to air in a self-styled fightback after allegations against him.
- Gaetz was accused of trafficking teenagers and paying for sex, which he strongly denies.
- His ad features undercover footage of a CNN employee, presented to suggest the network is trying to harm him.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Rep. Matt Gaetz is planning to push back at allegations he was involved in sex trafficking via an ad campaign targeting CNN, according to reports.
Politico first reported on the planned six-figure ad campaign, in which Gaetz will portray the federal investigation into the trafficking allegations and media coverage of it as part of a “fake news” plot to oust him from Congress.
Gaetz tweeted the video on Wednesday:
-Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 14, 2021
The Florida lawmaker has strenuously denied allegations of trafficking, that involve claims he was involved in a sexual relationship with a minor.
The ad will run on local networks in Gaetz’s district, as well as on some national TV networks, the Friends of Matt Gaetz campaign committee told Politico.
The groups has been accused of unethical practices and spreading disinformation by deceptively editing its clips.
The ad attacks CNN, featuring hidden-camera footage of Charles Chester, a technical worker at CNN, discussing its coverage of the Gaetz scandal.
Chester, who does not appear to be a journalist, describes Gaetz as a “problem for the Democratic party” and suggests that CNN will produce further stories to “keep hurting him.”
Chester was lured into discussing CNN by a female Project Veritas employee who posed as a Tinder date and secretly filmed their conversations, a CNN source told Mediaite.
Gaetz became known as one of Donald Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress during the Republican’s 4 years in office.
The investigation into Gaetz’s alleged involvement in trafficking stems from a separate criminal probe into an associate, Joel Greenberg.
Greenberg worked as a local tax official, and is suspected of crimes including trafficking, financial offences, and a bid to smear a political rival with false rumors.