Yesterday, Democratic State Rep. Anna Eskamani posted a thread to Twitter, detailing an incredibly uncomfortable voicemail from Congressman Matt Gaetz and former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, two Florida Republicans currently under investigation for underage sex crimes.
Eskamani shared the 27-second voicemail, which she says was sent on July 4, 2019, with Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
Here is the transcript:
“My dear Anna, this is your favorite tax collector. I’m up in the Panhandle with your favorite U.S. congressman Mr. Gaetz."
"And uh, we were just chatting about you and your lovely qualities, and your…”
“... We think you’re the future of the Democratic Party in Florida!”
"See, I know you’re the future of it, there's no thinking involved. Anyway, uh, if you get this and you feel like chatting, give me a shout back. Hope you’re well. Hope you had a nice Fourth, later."
You can listen to it below.
Eskamani says the voicemail was strange because Greenberg and she were not — and still aren’t — exactly on cordial speaking terms. The representative, who is Iranian, called for him to resign
in 2018 after he shared anti-Islamic posts to Facebook.
She also says the voicemail followed another uncomfortable situation, where he asked her to lunch and seemed “high the entire time.”
“It was the weirdest meeting I’ve ever had,” added Eskamani.
“I haven’t shared any of this publicly because for so many women, feeling forced to have lunch with someone you don’t want to have lunch with or getting unsolicited gifts and phone calls is the norm. You internalize it and just try to avoid that person. I’m not doing that anymore,” said Eskamani in another tweet.
“I’m not the only woman who goes through shit like this, and I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has weird AF experiences with people like Greenberg and Gaetz. Share your stories, know you’re not alone. We got your back.”
Besides being entirely creepy and inappropriate, the voicemail also shows the apparent close relationship between Greenberg and Gaetz.
On Thursday, the New York Times reported
that the two men met the same 17-year-old woman through the sugar-daddy website Seeking Arrangement, and paid for sex using Apple Pay and CashApp.
According to the Daily Beast
, federal investigators were first tipped off about Gaetz’s connection to Greenberg after they obtained text messages showing the former Seminole Tax Collector had brought the Republican congressman to his Lake Mary office on April 18, 2018, for an after-hours visit that involved rifling through discarded IDs.
Earlier this week, the Times broke the story
that Gaetz is being investigated for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and violating laws against sex trafficking in the process. The story has since been confirmed by multiple outlets, as well as Gaetz.
However, Gaetz denies any wrongdoing and has yet to be charged, even saying he’s actually the victim in a broader $25 million extortion scheme to free a prisoner in Iran in exchange for a pardon from President Joe Biden.
Greenberg has been charged with more than 14 felony counts accusing him of, among other things, stalking a political opponent, using a state database to create fake IDs and sex trafficking a minor between the ages of 14 and 17.
This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
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