A new report from CNN paints a picture of the Florida Republican millieu that the GOP likely wants to stay under wraps. Two women who spoke to the network on condition of anonymity claimed they took part in drug-fueled parties in a suburban Orlando gated community with Florida representative Matt Gaetz and other high-ranking GOP officials.
The women claim that they met at these parties with Gaetz and other GOP members over the course of several years. In the report, one woman who attended the parties said Gaetz behaved like a "frat type of party boy." She claims to have seen Gaetz take pills that she believed were recreational drugs. Neither of the women ever received money directly from Gaetz, but one noted that she had been paid by Gaetz's friend and fellow Republican politician Joel Greenberg.
Greenberg is currently facing 33 federal charges ranging from sex trafficking to embezzlement. The former Seminole County tax collector is reportedly cooperating with the feds in their investigation into whether or not Gaetz had an inappropriate relationship with a minor.
Gaetz paid Greenberg publicly over Venmo in ways that seem to indicate he was giving Greenberg money to distribute to women. One of the women who spoke to CNN about the Orlando parties admitted that Greenberg had paid her, occasionally to have sex with attendees. However, she would not provide the names of the people she slept with.
Crucially, the women both claimed that they never saw anyone they believed to be underage at the Orlando parties. One of the women explicitly reached out to CNN because she believed the narrative around Gaetz as a potential sex trafficker didn't match what she had seen.
Gaetz has denied all implications of wrongdoing multiple times. The congressman claims to be caught up in an extortion scheme, along with the rest of his family.
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