Gaetz Going on Ad Blitz Against CNN

As new details continue to emerge in growing scandal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2021 3:00 AM CDT
Gaetz Going on Ad Blitz Against CNN
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., attends a House Judiciary committee markup at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 14, 2021.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Matt Gaetz is wasting no time putting that Project Veritas footage to use: It will be featured in an ad the Florida congressman will start running to combat the negative press he's currently getting. The footage captures a CNN staffer talking about the network playing up Gaetz "propaganda" because it's what viewers want. Gaetz on Wednesday said he's spending six figures on the spot, which will be run in his congressional district as well as on select cable networks across the country, Politico reports. It's the first step in Gaetz's plan to "fight back against a multiweek fake news cycle against him," according to a statement from his congressional campaign. Meanwhile, none other than the target of the ad, CNN, reported Wednesday on new details related to the Department of Justice investigation into Gaetz.

The network spoke to two anonymous women who attended late-night parties, often allegedly attended by Gaetz and other local Republican officials, at which cocaine and ecstasy were used, sex was sometimes had, and payments were sometimes exchanged. But one of the women pushes back against the narrative surrounding Gaetz related to the DoJ probe, saying that's not what she saw from him at the parties, and adding that no one underage appeared to be present. Also Wednesday, the Daily Beast reported that Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg, the "suspected ringleader" of the group the DoJ is looking into, made more than 150 payments via Venmo to dozens of young women, including at least one 17-year-old. Gaetz allegedly sent money to Greenberg via Venmo with a note to "hit up ____," using a nickname for the teen, who was by then 18. (More details on the payments here.)

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