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Gaetz paid accused sex trafficker, who later sent same amount of cash to teen girls: report

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in 2018 paid an accused sex trafficker who later sent the same amount of cash to teen girls, according to a report from The Daily Beast.

Gaetz sent two Venmo transactions amounting to $900 to accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg in May 2018. He labeled the first transaction “test” and the second transaction “hit up _____,” with the alleged nickname of a young woman. 

Greenberg later sent money to three girls labeled as “Tuition,” “School” and “School” that totaled $900.

The Daily Beast said that while it was investigating the transactions, Gaetz’s public Venmo record disappeared. 

Greenberg has also made his Venmo transactions private.

Gaetz’s congressional office did not comment directly, but Gaetz used Logan Circle Group, a public relations firm, to respond to The Daily Beast.

The email was sent by Erin Elmore, a former contestant on Donald Trump’s show “The Apprentice” and a Trump supporter. The email also cc’d Harlan Hill who called Vice President Kamala Harris “an insufferable lying bitch.” Both are employees of the public relations firm.

“The rumors, gossip and self-serving misstatements of others will be addressed in due course by my legal team,” the statement said.

The group told The Daily Beast that they would be “closely monitoring your coverage.”

The Department of Justice announced earlier this month that Gaetz is being investigated for allegedly having sex with an underaged girl and possibly violating sex trafficking laws. He is also being investigated for allegedly paying women who were recruited online for sex.

Greenberg and Gaetz allegedly met with these women on specific dates and would pay them for their time.

One of the women said Gaetz and Greenberg paid her to have sex with both of them, messages reviewed by The New York Times showed.

The Daily Beast found another Venmo connection between Gaetz and Greenberg and a woman.

The outlet pulled records from Gaetz’s Venmo history with Greenberg as well as Greenberg’s credit card statements, and found that areas of contact between the two and certain transactions overlapped.

Gaetz has denied having sex with a teenage girl and says he will not resign despite calls from Democrats and Republicans to do so.

The Hill has reached out to Gaetz’s office for comment.

Updated Friday at 10:02 a.m.

Tags Daily Beast DOJ Donald Trump Gaetz investigation Matt Gaetz Matt Gaetz sex trafficking

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