New York Daily News

Hey, ‘I’m not a monk’ – Gaetz

- Dave Goldiner With News Wire Services

Embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Monday he will not resign from Congress and defended himself against allegation­s involving sex with underage girls and traffickin­g as a former congressio­nal aide stepped forward to vouch for his embattled ex-boss.

The staunchly pro-Trump lawmaker forcefully declared his innocence and suggested that his political foes were trying to smear his name because he “loathes the swamp.”

But the 38-year-old also acknowledg­ed having an active “lifestyle,” before getting engaged on New Year’s Eve. “I am a representa­tive in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal,” Gaetz wrote in an op-ed piece for the right-wing Washington Examiner news outlet. “My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal.”

The Florida representa­tive is under scrutiny by federal prosecutor­s over whether he had sex with a teenager and other underage girls and violated federal sex-traffickin­g laws. That’s according to people familiar with the investigat­ion who spoke on condition of anonymity because they could not discuss details publicly. To date, he has not been charged with any crimes. “First, I have never, ever paid for sex,” he wrote. “And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.”

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