The Florida Republican is reportedly the subject of a federal criminal probe into whether or not he paid underage girls for sex. The probe was made public last week in a report from The New York Times. Gaetz has denied any criminal activity and alleged that the information was made public as part of an extortion plot against him.
“It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman and that is verifiably false. People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case. What is happening is an extortion of me and my family,” Gaetz told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last week.
On Saturday, Colin Jost, who co-anchors the political news segment of the popular NBC sketch show, made hay out of the embattled Republican’s situation as well as his subsequent denial. The host opened the show by outlining the allegations against Gaetz involving a 17-year-old girl.
“Because Gaetz believes that only voters should have to show ID,” Jost quipped.
He continued: “It’s also reported that Gaetz used to pay for sex with women he met online. That story has since been confirmed by his whole vibe.”
The comedian then set his sights on the statement that the congressman issued to The New York Times in which he denied the allegations brought up in its article.
“Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex,” the statement reads. “Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely. 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.”
Jost jokingly responded with a counter-statement of his own in the third person.
“Colin Jost does not believe you. Colin Jost thinks you’ve been to all the websites,” he said. “Colin Jost thinks you should hold off on sending out those wedding invites.”
Gaetz proposed to Ginger Luckey, a 26-year-old food analyst, at Mar-a-Lago in December 2020. The couple met at Trump’s Florida club earlier that year.
With that, Jost kicked things over to his co-host, Michael Che, who joked about President Biden’s “New New Deal” and his position on canceling student debt.
However, Jost quickly took back the reins to further pile on Gaetz as well as QAnon conspiracy theorists. He joked that QAnon believers, who often lob unfounded allegations of child abuse on left-wing figures and celebrities, have been relatively silent on Gaetz’s situation.
“Here’s the craziest part of this story to me. A sitting congressman is being accused of child trafficking and the QAnon people are suddenly like ‘nah, I need more evidence,’” he said. “That was your whole thing! I mean come on, think about it. Matt Gaetz’s girlfriend, she was allegedly 17, the 17th letter is Q, it all adds up! What are you waiting for? The storm is finally here and QAnon is like ‘you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.’”
Despite the federal probe as well as mounting allegations of alleged past misconduct with women, Gaetz has said that he has no plans to resign.