Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida says “there’s time for Jeff Sessions to do the right thing.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is making waves a little more than a year after being sworn in for his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Politico published an interview with Gaetz Tuesday morning, starting with the following summary:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions should rescind his recusal on the investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, haul in special counsel Robert Mueller and order him to reveal any evidence of collusion that would justify continuing the special counsel’s probe, says Congressman Matt Gaetz. And if that evidence doesn’t exist, the Florida Republican says, “then let’s go ahead and wrap this thing up.”
“I still think there’s time for Jeff Sessions to do the right thing,” Gaetz told
Before turning to the interview itself, Politico‘s chief Washington correspondent Edward-Isaac Dovere offered the following analysis regarding Gaetz’s lack of experience:
Gaetz, 35, has become as much as anyone an avatar of Congress and the GOP and Washington in the age of Trump. He does not have much experience, but he stresses what he’s learned from it. He does not have much inside knowledge of the Mueller probe, but he knows exactly what he thinks of it. He talks about how awful Washington is, but he’s become a prominent presence in it. He’s the son of a locally famous politician who helped get him where he is, but now he’s a proud Trump protege.
Gaetz was willing to concede that he believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t want Hillary Clinton to become president and that the Russians did interfere in the 2016 election, but downplays its significance – likening Russian interference to “emptying a thimble of vinegar into the ocean hoping to change its chemical composition.”
He went on to claim that Trump’s campaign was far too great of a mess to have even been able to get it together enough to have colluded with the Russians.
“The Trump campaign was lurching from one event to the next. I had some familiarity with the campaign. I spoke at, I think, four of the Trump rallies that were in Florida, and these were not highly coordinated events. I would often learn of the program of one of these events just a day or so before the event itself,” Gaetz said, adding: “That seems to evidence the point that these were not people [capable] of colluding with Russia.”
He went on to blame the media for the Russia scandal, claiming that it was President Obama who should be subject of an investigation and not Trump.
As Politico reported:
He blames the ongoing hubbub about Russia on “the left” and “the media.” True, Gaetz says, Trump hasn’t done anything to denounce the Russians for the incursion into the elections, but on the other hand, “the president could never say enough to satisfy some in the mainstream media and some on the political left as it relates to Russia.”
The president who needs to be investigated more, Gaetz believes, is Barack Obama. Asked if he thinks Obama wiretapped Trump — as the president alleged in a tweet a year ago and never provided evidence of despite staff insisting he would — Gaetz said, “I believe the Obama administration did.”
“I think we’ve still got to pull the thread on that sweater. But what I’ve seen to date is that the administration most certainly was engaged in surveillance that was alleged by the president when he was mocked,” Gaetz said. “I think we’ve got to interview more witnesses.”