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Ex-McCarthy staffer trolls Gaetz on social media over Hunter Biden post

In World
June 12, 2024

An ex-staffer of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy took a jab at Rep. Matt Gaetz over the Florida Republican’s post on Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict, the latest dust-up in a long-standing feud between the two Republicans.

Gaetz, who has clashed with McCarthy ever since he led the effort to oust the former speaker, wrote on X Thursday that Hunter Biden’s conviction “is kinda dumb tbh.”

That, however, elicited a response from former McCarthy staffer Maggie Howell, who posted on X, without evidence: “That’s because you also love to do cocaine, sleep with prostitutes, and own guns.”

Ever since Gaetz spearheaded McCarthy’s ouster from the speakership last fall, McCarthy has escalated his revenge campaign against the Florida Republican. In a previous interview with POLITICO, McCarthy threw his support behind Gaetz’ primary challenger — who a top McCarthy adviser helped vet — and called the Floridian “the Hunter Biden of the Republican Party.”

McCarthy and his allies have repeatedly used a sex-trafficking probe federal prosecutors launched into Gaetz in late 2020 as fodder to attack Gaetz. Federal authorities began investigating Gaetz over potential sex crimes related to allegations that he paid women for sex and traveled overseas at least once to party with teenagers under the age of 18. The DOJ later closed the probe without filing charges against him, according to his attorneys and Justice Department officials.

Gaetz has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

When asked for comment, Gaetz posted a screenshot of POLITICO’s request on X and wrote, “My pronouns are ‘Removed McCarthy.’”

“Everyone deals with trauma differently. Maggie’s response to being fired after her boss’s removal from the Speakership is coping and seething hysterically on X all day. Quite sad!” Joel Valdez, Gaetz’ campaign manager, wrote in a statement to POLITICO.

Last month, the House Ethics Committee subpoenaed the DOJ for records tied to the panel’s ongoing investigation into Gaetz over allegations of drug abuse and sexual misconduct with a minor.

Gaetz has described the committee’s investigation as retaliation for leading the charge to overthrow McCarthy as speaker. In private, some of McCarthy’s allies have suggested attempting to push Gaetz out from the House pending the panel’s findings, according to previous reports.

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