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Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE is lashing out at a CNN report this week that Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz compares allegations against him to earmarks: 'Everybody knows that that's the corruption' Space Force commander removed after comments on podcast Gaetz associate to cooperate with investigation, plead guilty to child sex trafficking MORE (R-Fla.) was denied a meeting with him at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida following accusations of sex trafficking against the congressman.

"Fake News CNN, relying on all anonymous sources, meaning they probably made the whole thing up, wrote a very dishonest story claiming Congressman Matt Gaetz asked for a meeting with me at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, and was denied," Trump said in a statement late Monday. "This is completely false."

Gaetz, one of Trump's most vocal backers in the House, is under federal investigation amid accusations that he paid for sex and other sex trafficking accusations involving a minor. Gaetz has denied the allegations and said the claims against him are part of an extortion plot by a former Department of Justice official and political smear campaign. 

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"Just as they once falsely attacked President Donald Trump as a Russian asset, Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael Kavanaugh Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday Conservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements MORE as a gang rapist, and even John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWill the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? Republicans have dumped Reagan for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting MORE as having fathered a child out of wedlock, they now attack me," Gaetz wrote in a defiant op-ed defending himself last week. "Of course, none of what they say ever amounts to anything, yet it is endlessly repeated by leftist television anchors such as Chris CuomoChris CuomoCNN's Lemon, Cuomo to host new podcast DOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws Haaland: Santorum's Native American comments 'unfortunate' 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." 

On Sunday, CNN reported the Republican congressman tried to schedule a visit with Trump, who now resides at his club in Palm Beach, after the investigation against him was announced. 

Late on Sunday night, Gaetz called the CNN account "a total lie" and claimed, "No such meeting was denied nor sought."

Earlier this month, Trump shot down reporting from The New York Times that Gaetz had asked him for a blanket pardon against any criminal wrongdoing while the former president was still in office. 

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

In his Monday statement, Trump said major media outlets should focus on a reported relationship between Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellThe Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez Lawmakers roll out legislation to defend pipelines against cyber threats McCarthy open to meeting officer injured on Jan. 6 after Swalwell claims he was 'hung up on' MORE (D-Calif.) and a Chinese spy instead of reporting on the accusations against Gaetz.

"Why doesn’t CNN investigate and write about lightweight Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell, who had a torrid and physical relationship with the Chinese spy Fang-Fang, but is somehow on the once-prestigious House Intelligence Committee," Trump said. "Swalwell, who ran for President and dropped out with a record-setting 0% in the polls, has been compromised and is a national security threat to the United States—he should be removed from the Committee immediately!"