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) GaetzThe federal government must stop stifling medical marijuana research Hillicon Valley: Twitter chief faces GOP anger over bias | DOJ convenes meeting on bias claims | Rubio clashes with Alex Jones | DHS chief urges lawmakers to pass cyber bill | Sanders bill takes aim at Amazon Conservatives blame McCarthy for Twitter getting before favorable committee MORE (R-Fla.) said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 GohmertTrump: 'Fake news media’ didn’t cover when Obama said '57 states' in 2008 Bipartisan pair offers advice on ‘Climbing the Hill’ Trump allies want Congress to find anonymous op-ed author 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.