DONALD Trump has denied that Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz ever asked him for a presidential pardon in the final weeks of his administration.
Gaetz, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump during his presidency, is reportedly the subject of a federal sex-trafficking investigation.
The New York Times had reported on Tuesday Gaetz privately asked the White House for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed.
During Trump's term in the White House, Gaetz pledged his loyalty to the president, singing a letter to nominate Trump for the Nobel Peace Price.
Trump issued a statement on Wednesday in which he claimed "Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon."
"It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him," he added.
At the end of Trump's term, Gaetz also publicly called for broad pardons from Trump, which, he said, would stop the “bloodlust” of their political opponents.
By that time, the Justice Department had started question Gaetz's associated about his conduct, such as whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and violated sex trafficking laws, according to reports.
It is unclear whether the White House or Gaetz knew about the inquiry around the time the Florida Representative allegedly sought pardons.
The Times report added that Gaetz's request was communicated to a Trump aid – and it was also unclear if Gaetz requested the pardon directly from Trump himself.
In the final months of his presidency, Trump pardoned dozens of allies in a move that many believed was a means of taking aim at the criminal justice system.
A Gaetz spokesman told the Times: “Entry-level political operatives have conflated a pardon call from Representative Gaetz — where he called for President Trump to pardon ‘everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic’ — with these false and increasingly bizarre, partisan allegations against him.
“Those comments have been on the record for some time, and President Trump even retweeted the congressman, who tweeted them out himself.”
In an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson last week, Gaetz said he "is not seeking a pardon."
Reports have also emerged that Gaetz allegedly showed colleagues nude photos of women he claims to have slept with.
Gaetz had denied all allegations made against him – including taking illegal drugs and paying women for sex – and maintain that he is part of a smear campaign against him by his political opponents.
Gaetz wrote in an editorial published Monday in the Washington Examiner: "Washington scandal cycles are predictable, and sex is especially potent in politics.
"Let me first remind everyone that I am a representative in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal."
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