Even with former President Donald Trump two weeks out of office, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) remains one of his most vocal defenders in the House of Representatives.
After the 2020 presidential election saw then-President-elect Joe Biden secure a victory, Gaetz amplified the same lies that Trump spewed, falsely arguing that Democrats stole the election by somehow orchestrating widespread fraud.
Trump earned his second impeachment after these lies led a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the United States Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection. Just hours after this deadly riot, Gaetz—with other Republican members of Congress—continued his effort to toss out certified electoral votes of swing states Trump lost.
The former President's impeachment trial is set to begin in the Senate next week, and Gaetz has offered to represent Trump on his defense team—even offering to resign from his congressional seat to do so.
Gaetz made the comments in an interview with former Trump advisor and avowed white nationalist Steve Bannon.
It seems like Max headroom should do this. https://t.co/HzxkmVUShE— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡)1612376978.0
When asked by Bannon if he would step down to represent Trump, Gaetz replied:
"I love my district. I love representing them. But I view this cancellation of the Trump presidency and the Trump movement as one of the major risks to my people, both in my district and all throughout this great country. Absolutely. If the President called me and wanted me to go defend him on the floor of the Senate, that would be the top priority in my life."
He went on to gush that Trump was the greatest President of his lifetime and potentially the greatest President the country has ever seen, and that Gaetz would do anything to make sure he got a "full-throated defense."
Even Gaetz critics weren't opposed to the idea—but not for the reasons he pitched it.
Perfect. Yes please. https://t.co/xwfgYIn4D8— Boris (impeached, banned, impeached Trump) (@Boris (impeached, banned, impeached Trump))1612379501.0
For once, Matt Gaetz has had a great idea! He want's to be a pundit more than a legislator anyway. https://t.co/J4lIml2Pb5— MrWordNerd (@MrWordNerd)1612376578.0
Is that a promise? @semperdiced Never thought I’d say this but I fully support @mattgaetz for this https://t.co/95AE9Pq2hV— FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY ✊🏾✊🏿✊🏻 (@FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY ✊🏾✊🏿✊🏻)1612374232.0
This seems like a great idea. We should all encourage @mattgaetz to resign in order to blah, blah, blah. https://t.co/PySZ1dUObJ— -stop stanning politicians- (@-stop stanning politicians-)1612373410.0
Ooooh yes! @mattgaetz please resign to make sure Trump gets the best defense ever (lol)!!! Or just resign. https://t.co/jISgZvFH4o— AbCrown (@AbCrown)1612388552.0
People were vicariously embarrassed for Gaetz in his adoration of Trump, who resoundingly lost his bid for a second term and whose average approval rating never rose above 50 percent.
this kind of absolute fealty to any politician is so embarrassing https://t.co/VzLt4mkCli— susie (@susie)1612381357.0
This is very embarrassing lol. https://t.co/HUQuymNvoP— Brett Coleman (@Brett Coleman)1612382703.0
@mattgaetz to see you like this, whether it comes from honesty or ambition, is sad. https://t.co/u4qf79nfr2— ⚓️cadleji⚓️ (@⚓️cadleji⚓️)1612377264.0
Next level sycophancy https://t.co/wwBnvzTTM5— Kyle Fisher (@Kyle Fisher)1612379684.0
It's unclear if Trump will take Gaetz up on his offer, but the former President has had trouble finding lawyers willing to defend him in the upcoming trial.