Matt Gaetz, who currently faces a reported federal investigation into child sex-trafficking allegations amid accusations he engaged in “sugar daddy” relationships with underage girls, has been invited to speak at an upcoming summit put together by a women’s group in support of former President Donald Trump.
The embattled Republican congressman was scheduled to attend a four-day summit at the former president’s Florida golf course, Women for America First announced on Tuesday, as explosive new reports said Mr Gaetz may have participated in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old whose travels he paid for – a violation of child sex-trafficking laws.
“Rep Matt Gaetz has been a fearless leader in DC,” the group wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. “Few members of Congress have been more willing than Matt to stand up & fight on behalf of President Trump & his America First Agenda.”
Mr Gaetz was set to deliver a speech on Friday night at the Save America Summit, organised by Women for America, a group founded in part by Amy Kremer. Ms Kremer was behind the rally held at the White House ahead of the deadly pro-Trump attacks on the US Capitol on 6 January, as Congress convened to certify the results of the 2020 elections.
The Florida congressman and close ally to Mr Trump has received a wave of backlash over recent reports detailing how he fought against legislation effectively outlawing revenge porn, and allegedly shared private photos sent to him by women he claimed to have slept with while speaking to lawmakers on the House floor.
Those reports came soon after Mr Gaetz denied the allegations featured in a federal probe apparently launched under former Attorney General William Barr, who, according to The New York Times, had been briefed on the investigation on multiple occasions.
In a statement his office shared to The Times following its explosive report on the federal investigation, the Florida congressman’s office said: “Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex.”
“Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely,” the statement — apparently written in the third-person — continued. “Matt Gaetz has never ever been on any such websites whatsoever. Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life.”
It was not immediately clear if the upcoming summit at the former president’s golf course would also feature an appearance from Mr Trump, who has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct from dozens of women.