House Republican says Trump calls him regularly ‘because I defend him on television’

House Republican says Trump calls him regularly ‘because I defend him on television’

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group MORE (R-Fla.) said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE calls him on the phone periodically, and that he believes it's because he often comes to the president's defense on television.

"He cracks me up when he calls," Gaetz told BuzzFeed News.

"I think it’s because I defend him on television," the Florida Republican said, explaining why Trump calls him. 

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Gaetz, a freshman congressman who took office just weeks before Trump entered the White House, has emerged as one of the president's most ardent defenders in Congress. 

He's been particularly critical of efforts by congressional committees and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE to investigate Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

He gained notoriety in November when he and two other House Republicans – Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertHillicon Valley: Facebook, Google face tough questions on white nationalism | Nielsen's exit raisers cyber worries | McConnell calls net neutrality bill 'dead on arrival' | Facebook changes terms for EU data Republicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave YouTube shuts down comments on House hearing on white nationalism over hateful remarks MORE (R-Texas) – introduced a resolution calling for Mueller to be removed from the Russia probe. 

He has also accused the special counsel's investigation of rampant bias, and pushed for the release of a controversial memo by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee that alleged abuses by the FBI and Justice Department.