Tucker Carlson Tucker CarlsonFox News guest calls Tucker Carlson a 'conspiracy theorist' during fiery segment Tucker Carlson debuts his first major streaming show on Fox Nation What to know about Dominion's legal fight with Fox News MORE on Tuesday called his interview of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) one of the oddest in his career after inviting the congressman on his show to discuss an investigation the Florida lawmaker is facing for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old.
“If you just saw our Matt Gaetz Matthew (Matt) GaetzThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden seeks expanded government, tax hikes Gaetz denies allegations, claims he's victim of 'organized criminal extortion' Lieu: Gaetz should be suspended from Judiciary panel amid DOJ probe MORE interview, that was one of the weirdest interviews I have ever conducted,” Carlson said to his viewers after the segment on his Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“That was one of the weirdest interviews I've ever conducted."pic.twitter.com/lo2BqvxHJT— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) March 31, 2021
On Tuesday news broke that the Department of Justice was investigating whether Gaetz “had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him,” three sources briefed on the probe told The New York Times.
Gaetz, in an Axios story later that day, denied the allegations, but confirmed that he was under investigation.
Gaetz said that the accusations were part of an “extortion effort against my family for $25 million ... in exchange for making this case go away.”
He repeated those allegations on Carlson’s show.
“I know that there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators,” Gaetz told Carlson.
“They even claimed to have specific connections inside the Biden White House,” he added. “Now, I don’t know if that’s true. They were promising that Joe Biden Joe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden seeks expanded government, tax hikes Five things to watch on Biden infrastructure plan GOP seeks new line of attack on Biden economic plans MORE would pardon me. Obviously, I don’t need a pardon. I’m not seeking a pardon. I have not done anything improper or wrong.”
Matt Gaetz vows to Tucker Carlson he didn't "travel" with a 17-year-old, but his denial seems pretty specific and carefully worded pic.twitter.com/emGePJeVfV— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 31, 2021
Gaetz suggested the extortion plot could be tied to attempts to damage him politically, pointing to the fact that after news of the investigation broke, Rep. Ted Lieu Ted W. LieuBoth parties look to recruit Asian American candidates as violence against group increases Gaetz denies allegations, claims he's victim of 'organized criminal extortion' Lieu: Gaetz should be suspended from Judiciary panel amid DOJ probe MORE (D-Calif.) asked for Gaetz to be suspended from the House Judiciary Committee.
“But what I am troubled by is the real motivation for all of this,” Gaetz said to Carlson. “You know, just tonight, Ted Lieu, a Democrat, was calling on me to be removed from the House Judiciary Committee. I believe we are in an era of our politics now, Tucker, where people are smeared to try to take them out of the conversation.”
It was clear, after the segment ended, that Carlson was nonplussed by the interview he had just conducted.
“That story just appeared in the news a couple of hours ago, and on the certainty that there is always more than you read in the newspaper, we immediately called Matt Gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more, which, as you saw, he did,” Carlson said about the interview. “I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story, and we will be following it. Don’t quite understand it, but we will bring you more when we find out.”