Five of the oddest moments from Carlson-Gaetz interview

Tucker Carlson has already said his interview Tuesday night with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) was one of the weirdest of his career.

Gaetz appeared on the conservative Fox News host’s show just after news broke that he is under investigation over an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, an allegation Gaetz strongly denies.

Gaetz says the entire controversy was an extortion attempt by a former Justice Department official.

Here are the five of the oddest moments from the interview. 

Gaetz wants the tapes

In the interview, Gaetz detailed how his father was texted by someone asking for “$25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away” and how the FBI asked his dad to wear a wire. 

Then, as Carlson looked intently into the camera, Gaetz dramatically called on the FBI to share the resulting tapes.

“Tonight, I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction, which will prove my innocence,” Gaetz said.

Gaetz says Times story ruined a sting operation 

Before Carlson could ask a follow-up question about the tapes, Gaetz said the publication of a New York Times story revealing the investigation was purposely timed to ruin an imminent sting operation and provide cover for the extortionist.

“And this former Department of Justice official tomorrow was supposed to be contacted by my father so that specific instructions could be given regarding the wiring of $4.5 million as a down payment on this bribe,” Gaetz said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that tonight, somehow The New York Times is leaking this information smearing me and ruining the investigation that would likely result in one of the former colleagues of the current DOJ being brought to justice.”

Later in the interview, Gaetz referenced a slightly different time for the supposed sting, mentioning “money that was supposed to be paid today.”

Gaetz was promised a presidential pardon

A look of confused surprise appeared to come over Carlson’s face as Gaetz answered the host’s more detailed questions about the plot. 

After explaining, in response to Carlson’s questioning, that a “demand for money” was a central part of the scheme, Gaetz theorized that political animus was also a motivation, adding that the extortionist offered a presidential pardon in exchange for making the investigation disappear. 

“They were promising that Joe Biden would pardon me. Obviously I don’t need a pardon. I’m not seeking a pardon,” Gaetz said.

“I’ve not done anything improper or wrong, but what I am troubled by is the real motivation for all of this. You know, just tonight [Rep.] Ted Lieu, a Democrat, is calling on me to be removed from the House Judiciary Committee. And I believe we are in an era of our politics now, Tucker, where people are smeared to try to take them out of the conversation.”

Gaetz is well-known for his unwavering support of former President Trump. He backed Trump’s false claims that widespread voter fraud led to the 2020 election being stolen from Trump by Biden. That Gaetz would suggest he might have got a pardon from Biden, as a result, is curious.

Gaetz brings up odd reference to Carlson

Carlson remained pokerfaced as the Florida congressman seemed to try to appeal to him by raising what Gaetz characterized as similar accusations faced by the Fox News anchor.

“I’m not the only person on screen right now who has been falsely accused of a terrible sex act,” Gaetz said. “You were accused of something that you did not do. And so you know what this feels like, you know, the pain it can bring to your family.”

Gaetz did not specify what allegations he meant. But while assuming an off-hand manner, Carlson replied that the congressman must have meant “a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago. And it, of course it was not true. I’d never met the person. But I do agree with you that being accused falsely is one of the worst things that can happen. And you do see it a lot.”

The incident Carlson mentioned likely occurred after he joined Fox as a contributor in 2009. It was something he detailed in a 2017 episode of his Fox News show, when he discussed being falsely accused of felony rape by a certified public accountant in Indiana who he “had literally never even seen.” 

Gaetz mentions, but Carlson can’t recall, a dinner the two shared

About two-thirds of the way through the interview, Gaetz tried to remind Carlson about a dinner the two shared along with Carlson’s wife and a companion of Gaetz’s. That woman, Gaetz said, had been pressured by the FBI to reveal the congressman’s misdeeds. 

“I can say that, actually, you and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there, and I brought a friend of mine, you’ll remember her. And she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay-for-play scheme that she could face trouble,” Gaetz said.

“I don’t remember the woman you’re speaking of,” Carlson said while shaking his head, “or the context at all.” 

Carlson then dropped the discussion about the dinner to question Gaetz further on the girl mentioned in the Times’s story.

“The person doesn’t exist,” Gaetz said. “I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. That is totally false. The allegation is, I read it in the New York Times, is that I’ve traveled with some 17-year-old in some relationship. That is false, and records will bear that out to be false.”

Tags Donald Trump Florida Fox News Joe Biden Matt Gaetz Ted Lieu Tucker Carlson

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