House

Gaetz sent apology text to Cohen after House testimony: report

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) sent a text apologizing to Michael Cohen after his congressional testimony, saying it was not his intent to threaten President Trump's former lawyer.

"Mr. Cohen, this is Congressman Matt Gaetz," Gaetz wrote in a text to Cohen obtained by Vanity Fair. "I am writing to personally tell you I'm sorry for the tweet that I sent which many believe was threatening to you. It was never ever ever my intent to threaten you in any way."

"While you don't know me," he continued, "that is not who I am and how I operate. I do not wish any harm to you or your family. I was upset at what was transpiring and chose my words poorly. I will work to be better, as I know you said today you will as well. Have a good evening. - Matt."

Gaetz was apologizing for a since-deleted Tweet that sparked accusations of witness tampering and led to a Florida state bar investigation.

"Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?" he wrote on Tuesday before Cohen's testimony. "Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she'll remain faithful when you're in prison. She's about to learn a lot..."

Gaetz apologized publicly on Wednesday, saying it was "NOT my intent to threaten [Cohen], as some believe I did."

Vanity Fair also obtained Cohen's response to Gaetz's text.

"Congressman Gaetz, I cannot thank you enough for your message," Cohen wrote.

"The tweet, sadly, has only made a bad situation worse ... not only for my wife but for my children as well. With your permission, I would like to share your message with my wife and children. Hopefully, it will bring a little peace to their damaged life. We all make mistakes especially in this crazy partisan time. Thank you again for your text and I hope that the tweet does not cause you any harm. If it does, and there is anything I can do to help you correct it, please feel free to reach out and I would be happy to assist."

Neither Cohen nor Gaetz immediately responded to requests for comment from Vanity Fair on the text messages.

Cohen gave testimony last week to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, during which the former lawyer made a number of explosive claims about Trump's behavior in office, calling the president a "racist" and "con man."

Outbrain