Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, known for logging on too hard as the President Defender and being praised for doing so by Donald Trump himself, has once again bungled another TV appearance of his, this time with his Trump-first mental gymnastics.
Going on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, Gaetz and his veneers faced off against Chris Cuomo and his veneers over the reliability of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In the interview, Gaetz tried to downplay Paul Manafort’s crimes and, by association, Manafort’s relation to Trump, but pivoted to Mueller’s lack of charges against Manafort for conspiracy. Gaetz went on to argue that any crime that isn’t considered a felony is “fine,” all the while trying to paint Mueller as both reliable and unreliable, depending on whichever works in his favor.
“Matt, Congressman, pick your poison,” Cuomo said at one point, after Gaetz mentioned a bill he’s introducing to crack down on foreign government influence. “Either, if it’s not a crime, you don’t want to talk about it and leave the president alone, or you want to change the rules to tighten the screws down more on exactly what your guys did. Which is it?”
The entire interview is worth a watch, but the below clip really sums up the entire 10-minute-plus showdown. Gaetz, clearly trying to make the president proud, continues his entire methodology of throwing anything at Cuomo and hoping it sticks.
Just look at those chompers fly:
Anything is fair game for Gaetz, from insinuating that Mueller is compromised because members of his investigation previously donated to Democrats (despite Mueller being a Republican himself), to giving credit to Jerome Corsi, the author behind the Seth Rich conspiracy and Roger Stone associate, who said last year that he rejected a plea deal from Mueller because he was, as Gaetz put it, “unwilling to lie.”
And according to Gaetz, his willingness to shill so publicly and shamelessly has gotten him some notice from the big man himself. Last week, he told Politico an anecdote from a visit with Trump and Florida Sen. Rick Scott on Air Force One where Trump told Scott, “Isn’t Matt Gaetz great on television?” Very cool, Matt!
And so even with Gaetz’s wobbly performance, there’s no doubt that Trump will be absolutely pleased with the Florida representative’s 10 minutes of spin. That’s just the way things work now.