Representative Matt Gaetz is not handling the allegations of sex trafficking and assault of a 17-year-old girl very well, as evidenced by what should have been a softball-fest on Tucker Carlson’s show last night.
Carlson, clearly on the side of Gaetz, gave him an opportunity to “tell his side” without any threat of challenge, and Gaetz used that opportunity to bring up the fact that his host must really understand what he’s going through.
“I’m not the only person on screen right now who has been falsely accused of a terrible sex act,” Gaetz said. “You were accused of something you did not do, so you know what this feels like, you know the pain it can bring to your family.”
Did you know that Tucker Carlson was accused of a “terrible sex act”? Now you do.
This forced Carlson to put the accusation against him in context as he tried to drag himself out from under the bus.
“You just referred to a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago,” he said. “And, of course, it was not true. I never met the person. But I agree with you, being falsely accused is one of the worst things that can happen, and you do see it a lot.”
You don’t, in fact, see it a lot. False accusations of sexual assault are exceedingly rare — significantly less common than false accusations of other crimes according to the most recent studies on the matter. This particular case has been largely deemed to be a rare example of a genuine false accusation, with the accuser later saying that the whole thing was a misunderstanding.
Carlson then tried to yank the conversation back onto the subject of Gaetz and the crime he’s been accused of, but the Congressman didn’t seem to want to stop involving his host. He soon claimed that he had gone to dinner with Carlson not long ago and that he’d brought a “friend” with him who was “threatened” by the FBI.
“I can say that actually you and I went to dinner about two years ago. Your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine. You’ll remember her. And she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some ‘pay for play’ scheme, that she could face trouble.”
Carlson, however, did not remember any of that.
“I don’t remember the woman you are speaking of or the context at all, honestly,” he said.
By the end, Carlson was baffled by what had just happened, calling it “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.” The tone, facial expressions, and body language coming from Carlson here is even more interesting than he says the Gaetz story is.
“That story just appeared in the news a couple of hours ago, and on the certainty that there’s 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,” said Tucker with a little smile at the end.
“I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story, and we’ll be following it.”
Time will tell if Gaetz managed to further incriminate himself in that interview or whether Carlson will ever invite him back on his show again. Also, Carlson was accused of sexual harassment by a woman who says she was also groomed and raped by another Fox News host in a lawsuit filed last year, just so everyone knows.