Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is facing a federal sex-trafficking probe, accusations that he showed lawmakers pictures and videos of nude women he claimed to have slept with and an alleged extortion plot, was hit with more bad PR Friday.
Luke Ball, Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) communications director, is resigning his post, the congressman’s office announced ahead of the weekend.
“The Office of Congressman Matt Gaetz and Luke Ball have agreed that it would be best to part ways,” a joint statement read. “We thank him for his time in our office, and we wish him the best moving forward.”
Ball scrubbed mentions of Gaetz, 38, from his Twitter biography by midday Thursday.
The Florida lawmaker has found himself embroiled in a considerable amount of controversy over the past week.
On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the congressman was the subject of an investigation into whether he slept with a 17-year-old girl.
The investigation, The Times reported, stemmed from a probe into Joel Greenberg, a Gaetz ally charged last summer with sex trafficking — among other things.
Gaetz vehemently denied the allegations, instead alleging on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” later that evening that his family had fallen victim to a $25 million extortion plot at the hands of a former Justice Department official.
That official, David McGee, a former federal prosecutor in Florida who is now working at the firm Beggs & Lane, denies the extortion claims.
Gaetz also claimed the existence of the DOJ probe was leaked to the media in an effort to thwart the FBI investigation into the alleged extortion plot.
The GOP congressman, the son of Don Gaetz, a prominent former Florida politician, then told a stunned Tucker Carlson that his father had begun wearing a wire to assist the FBI in that probe alleged extortion probe.
The senior Gaetz, 73, confirmed his son’s account about the wire to Politico in an interview Wednesday, saying that he wore it during a meeting with McGee in early March.
The former Florida state Senate president went on to say that he voiced reservations to authorities about his participation, noting that the operation would require him to be recorded making false statements.
“I said to the FBI ‘I’m willing to wear a wire and be cooperative,’ but I was asked to say things that are not true to draw out an admission,” the retired Florida lawmaker told the outlet, not specifying the nature of those “things.”
As controversy — and confusion — about the bombshell accusations mounted, the younger Gaetz was hit with another allegation Thursday.
Multiple sources told CNN that the embattled congressman showed naked pictures of women he’d claim to have had sex with to fellow lawmakers, bragging about his conquests.
While on the House floor, Gaetz allegedly displayed the images of women from his phone and talked about having sex with them.
One video showed a nude woman with a hula hoop, one source told the network.
The allegation from CNN does not appear to be in anyway related to the DOJ probe.
As part of that probe, the FBI has reportedly questioned several women who claim they were paid to sleep with Gaetz and his friends in drug-fueled trysts.
The interviews were conducted as part of the federal probe, which focuses on Gaetz’s alleged ties to several women who were recruited online for sex and paid for their services, the New York Times reported.
A rep for Gaetz could not immediately be reached by The Post for comment.
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