REP Matt Gaetz thundered at a Florida lectern on Friday night saying he was a "marked man" because he was "effective" in Congress for pushing a populist agenda.
The Republican congressman went on the offensive after he's become embroiled in a criminal probe alleging that he and a close Florida pal paid a seventeen-year-old girl for sex while delivering a speech on his birthday to resounding applause to kickoff to an "America First" tour with Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Gaetz has not been charged with any offense.
"I'm a marked man in Congress, a canceled man on some corners of the internet, and a wanted man by the Deep State - but I'm a Florida man who's happy to be home," he told the packed crowd who were all standing and cheering.
He then took shots at the media and predicted how his speech will be pilloried by the press, claiming tomorrow's headline on CNN will read: "Matt Gaetz has wild party surrounded by beautiful women" - just wait."
He railed against the network for essentially trying to bring him down for his success in the nation's capital.
"It's not often you get an admission on video," he said. "But a CNN director on video said the reason they were repeating these lies and propagandizing my life is because I'm effective.
"Because I stand up in the way of an agenda that will hurt my fellow Americans.
"They will not silence me we will not back down and the truth will prevail."
More to follow...
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