Colbert mocks Gaetz after Trump denies he asked for a pardon

Late-night host Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Jobless claims drop to 50+ year low Brian Williams to leave NBC News after 28 years Katie Couric: CNN shouldn't have let Chris Cuomo 'yuk it up' with brother Andrew during pandemic MORE made fun of Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMcCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP McCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' GOP infighting just gets uglier MORE after former President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE said publicly this week that the Florida Republican never asked him for a blanket pardon before he left the White House. 

“Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing, but sources say that just before the previous president left office, Gaetz asked for a blanket pardon,” Colbert said on his show Wednesday night. “Oh, I don’t think the blanket wants a pardon. I think it wants to be burned ... it’s seen too much.”

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In a statement earlier Wednesday, the former president denied reports that Gaetz had asked him to grant him a presidential pardon from any crimes he could be charged with. 

“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon," Trump said. "It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”

Gaetz faces a federal investigation stemming from accusations of sexual misconduct and sex trafficking. The investigation seeks to ascertain whether Gaetz paid women — and a 17-year-old girl — for sexual favors.

The congressman has denied he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and in a fiery op-ed earlier this week said he will not resign. He has claimed the allegations are part of an extortion plot by top Justice Department officials. 

"Just as they once falsely attacked President Donald Trump as a Russian asset, Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level What's that you smell in the Supreme Court? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE as a gang rapist, and even John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE as having fathered a child out of wedlock, they now attack me," Gaetz wrote. "Of course, none of what they say ever amounts to anything, yet it is endlessly repeated by leftist television anchors such as Chris CuomoChris CuomoThe Memo: Elites' misdeeds fuel public distrust DOJ investigating sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo Briahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal MORE, who uses his platform to cover for his brother's appalling subjection of nursing home patients to death by the coronavirus. They think themselves such wonderful arbiters of moral purpose." 

The Washington Post reported this week that Gaetz is scheduled to speak at an event for a conservative women's group. 

"You could say that's putting the fox in the henhouse," Colbert joked. "But Gaetz would rather hang out with the eggs."