Matt Gaetz's GOP primary opponent says Trump and DeSantis don't want to associate with a 'pedophile’

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is under investigation by the Justice Department. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Mark Lombardo says Trump and DeSantis don't want to associate with Gaetz.
Lombardo said it was because the DOJ was investigating him for his association with a minor.
Lombardo says Gaetz repeatedly made bad decisions in office.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz's main Republican opponent, Mark Lombardo, has slammed the incumbent congressman and said former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis do not want to be associated with anyone charged with alleged sex trafficking is identified with minors.
ADVERTISEMENT
“Trump or DeSantis did not endorse Matt Gaetz. Have they in the past? Yes. Do you have it now? The answer is no. And that's because they can't afford the branding issue. The branding issue associated with being a pedophile," Lombardo said in an interview with Insider on Tuesday.
Gaetz, an ardent Trump supporter, has received no formal endorsement from Trump or DeSantis this election cycle. Trump endorsed him in 2018.
Several Republicans have put more distance between themselves and Gaetz since it was revealed the Justice Department is investigating whether he paid a 17-year-old girl to travel across states for sex, which is considered a federal crime.
The Florida congressman dismissed Lombardo's comments, pointing to videos of Trump encouraging people to go out and vote for Gaetz at a Turning Points USA conference last month.
"Mark Lombardo is obviously a liar, as evidenced by this video of President Trump supporting me in front of thousands of people," Gaetz said in a statement to Insider.
Gaetz remains under investigation by the Justice Department as part of its ongoing investigation into his previous sexual relationship with the minor, although he has not been charged. Others in his inner circle were also investigated. Longtime associate Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax officer, pleaded guilty to multiple charges last year, including sex trafficking. Greenberg is expected to be sentenced to prison in December.
Lombardo's comments come weeks after Vice President Mike Pence's former chief of staff, Marc Short, also blasted Gaetz after Florida lawmakers suggested at a conference that Pence would never be president.
"I don't know if Mike Pence will run for president in 2024, but I don't think Matt Gaetz will have any impact on that — in fact, I'd be surprised if he still votes," Short told CNN in July. "He's more likely to be in prison for child trafficking by 2024, and I'm really surprised that Florida law enforcement is still allowing him to speak at teen conferences like this."
Lombardo, a Marine Corps veteran, will run against Gaetz in the August 23 Florida primary. Lombardo said Gaetz continues to make bad decisions while in office and needs to be voted out.
"These are not gimmicks. He's not funny. He's not a party boy. This is serious stuff; he needs to be held accountable,” he said.
Read the original article on Business Insider
Matt Gaetz
American politician
donald trump
45th President of the United States
Ron DeSantis
American politician
Mike Pence
48th Vice President of the United States

Last News

AOC says her office struggles to keep up with the 'astronomical' level of daily threats that she receives: NYT

AOC says her office struggles to keep up with the 'astronomical' level of daily threats that she receives: NYT

Trump staffers not returning White House records, National Archives says

Penn State running back no longer on roster

Ukrainian Parliament to nationalise over 900 Russian assets in Ukraine

Ukrainian Parliament to nationalise over 900 Russian assets in Ukraine