HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” on Sunday featured a short segment on the sex trafficking allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
Gaetz is the subject of a Justice Department investigation into alleged misconduct that includes illegal drug use and sexual misconduct. He allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him, which is a violation of federal sex trafficking laws. Gaetz has denied the allegations.
There have been several other intriguing footnotes since the scandal broke. Oliver touched on reports that claimed Gaetz sent accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg $900 through payment service Venmo to pay three women. Greenberg later sent three payments totaling the amount with the descriptions “tuition,” “school,” and “school.”
“I can’t believe I have to say this, but if you are making suspicious, potentially criminal transactions, Venmo is not the app to use,” Oliver said.
Many media reports have noted the easy tracking of transactions Gaetz may have used through Apple Pay and Venmo.
“Venmo is for one thing and one thing only: passing judgment on friends’ spending habits while obsessing over wild financial mysteries,” Oliver joked.
Although Oliver acknowledged that Gaetz has denied all of the allegations made against him, there was still one extra quip remaining.
“I’m sure there will be a lot more to say about all of this…when he goes to prison,” Oliver said.
On the April 4 episode, Oliver played a video clip of how Gaetz didn’t get Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson to defend a story that Gaetz and Carlson attended a group dinner with Carlson’s wife and a woman friend of Gaetz.
“Wow! Imagine being the one white man on Earth that Tucker Carlson won’t defend,” Oliver joked.
Meanwhile, more revelations continue to emerge for the embattled congressman. Gaetz recently shut down a report from CNN that claimed he was denied a meeting with former President Donald Trump in Florida. Gaetz was often viewed as a fierce loyalist of Trump.
Harlan Hill, a spokesperson for Gaetz, told The Hill that the 38-year-old was focused on work during his trip and did not request a meeting with Trump.
“Rep. Gaetz arrived at Doral, gave a speech, and left. He has not solicited a meeting with President Trump anytime recently, as confirmed by President Trump’s own team in a public statement today,” he said.
“Rep. Gaetz has been spending his time in recess relaxing with his fiancee, and appreciates all the support he has been receiving from his constituents — who in a poll last week demonstrated overwhelming support for the Congressman — as well groups like Women for America First who hosted him in Miami this weekend,” Hill added.
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