Matt Gaetz has been accused of sex trafficking by a far-reaching (and still-expanding) New York Times exposé. According to the Times, Gaetz had sex with at least one seventeen-year-old girl, and paid for her travel across state lines to do so.
The Florida Republican hasn’t said much publicly since the Times published its first piece. The one time Gaetz did attempt to defend himself, he wound up trying to drag Tucker Carlson down with him. The resulting interview baffled pretty much everyone, including Gaetz’s would-be allies.
However, one thing Gaetz made sure to say — or, more specifically, that the Matt Gaetz social media manager made sure went public — is a post featuring Gaetz posing with multiple underage girls.
The day the Times published its first story on Gaetz, the Congressman’s Instagram account shared a four-photo post of Gaetz congratulating a high school basketball team on its statewide championship. The Ponce De Leon Lady Pirates capped a 22-2 season with a 40-37 win over Hawthorne to capture the Florida Class 1A State Championship last month.
But…they really don’t have to? Once you’ve started talking about sex with a seventeen-year-old — and possibly with more than one seventeen-year-old, and possibly with girls younger than that — photos of Gaetz’s literal presence among a group of girls the same age is just a huge unforced error.
This is especially true in the age of social media, when deleting a post couldn’t be much easier. The fact that it’s an otherwise innocuous post makes it all the easier to get off of your feed.
For a Congressman not at the center of a sex trafficking controversy, most of your constituents wouldn’t even notice a post like this in the first place, much less its disappearance. But when you’re Matt Gaetz? Well, have a look at the screenshot below and see if you can figure out why one of Gaetz’s hands needs to be touching anyone else:
As for Gaetz’s social media manager, maybe nobody’s minding the store. Maybe Gaetz’s former spokesman Luke Ball was in charge of social media until he quit Gaetz’s staff without explanation yesterday.
But somebody with access to Gaetz’s social media has to be doing damage control, even if it’s the Congressman himself. As any embattled reality star can tell you, bad looks will kill you with your core constituents.
And Gaetz, who’s treated his office like a production company for his own reality show, is apparently thinking of quitting Congress for a job in reality TV. So the very least he could do for his audition is show those execs he understands the business.
(Photo credits: Instagram)