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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tried to fight with Sec. of Defense Austin in the latest move to drum conservative support in the face of child sex trafficking allegations.

To illustrate how much of this was a performance designed to distract and market, here is how Gaetz tweeted out the video:

Here was one exchange:

Austin: This is the most capable, most combat critical force in the world, it has been and it will be so going forward, and this budget helps us to do that.

Gaetz: Not if we continue down this path. Not if we continue to embrace socialism.

Austin: The fact that you’re embarrassed by your country, by your military. I’m sorry for that.

Gaetz: Oh no, I’m embarrassed for your leadership. I am not embarrassed for my country.

Gaetz has been running versions of this scam for months. He is promising to nominate Donald Trump to be Speaker if Republicans take back the House. He is positioning himself as a warrior against socialism.

Rep. Gaetz is leaning hard into every Republican culture war cliche because he is trying to build up a base of support that he hopes will stand with him after he gets indicted for felonies related to child sex trafficking.

It is all a con job. The day that Gaetz is indicted he will run to every conservative media outlet and claim that he is the subject of a political prosecution.

Matt Gaetz is building a campaign to discredit the potential charges against him by staging performances that make it appear that he is fighting for “conservative values.”

Kevin McCarthy has refused to remove Gaetz from his committee assignments, so the country is forced to watch Matt Gaetz abuse his office to build a criminal defense.



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