Matt Gaetz was ridiculed for the second week running on Saturday Night Live (SNL) as sex-trafficking allegations against the congressman continue to unfold.
Co-host Colin Jost remarked that it was “a nice change to see women pay for an hour with Matt Gaetz” following an appearance by the Florida congressman at a “Women for America First” rally on Friday.
Mr Gaetz told the rally crowd that the former president, as well as firebrand congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green and congressman Jim Jordan, were supporting him amid a number of allegations.
“Oh no,” remarked the SNL’s host. “Did he think those were good character references? Who’s next? The ghost of Jeffrey Epstein?”
The rally appearance by Mr Gaetz follows a New York Times report of a justice department investigation for the alleged trafficking of a 17-year-old girl, with whom he allegedly had a sexual relationship with.
Mr Gaetz, according to the Daily Beast, also paid an alleged sex trafficker though an app, Venmo. The same $900 (£656) payments were then sent to teenage girls for “tuition” and “school”, according to the report.
Jost, the SNL host, quipped that “If true, would make him the only congressman actually helping with student loans.”
On Friday, Mr Gaetz reportedly called the allegations “distortions of my personal life” that were “wild conspiracy theories.”
“So when you see the leaks and the lies and the falsehoods and the smears, when you see the anonymous sources and insiders forecasting my demise, know this. They aren’t really coming for me. They’re coming for you,” said the congressman. “I’m just in the way.”
Joel Greenberg, an ally of Mr Gaetz and the accused sex trafficker who allegedly forwarded the Venmo payments, was thought to be close to a plea deal with federal prosecutors on Friday, which could further implicate the Florida congressman.
The House’s ethics committee, also on Friday, announced that it would begin to investigate the accusations unfolding around Mr Gaetz, including allegations of sexual trafficking — which the congressman denies.
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