The Trump era made it a good time to be a “fun-loving” politician, Gaetz said in “Firebrand: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the MAGA Revolution,” which was published last September. He also pointed out the possibly corrupting influence of “D.C. distractions,” which he said “take two forms: Sex and money. Getting paid and getting laid.”
But the lawmaker wasn’t apologizing. He said he had “an active social life, and it’s probably easier in the era of Trump.”
“We’ve had ‘perfect family man’ presidents before, after all, and many of those men sold out our country, even if their wives were happy the whole time,” Gaetz wrote. “If politicians’ family lives aren’t what really matter to the voters, maybe that’s a good thing. I’m a representative, not a monk.”
Gaetz, a staunch Trump supporter, is currently under investigation for alleged sex with a minor and possible sex trafficking. He has denied all accusations. Trump has yet to speak about the allegations against Gaetz.
Meanwhile, 25 women have publicly raised sexual assault allegations against the former president, who was heard boasting of grabbing women’s genitals in a resurfaced recording before he was even elected. Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen also testified that then-candidate Trump had arranged to pay hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 to keep her quiet about their affair.
“We’ve got a president now who doesn’t care for puritanical grandstanding or moralistic preening” is how Gaetz characterized Trump’s behavior in his book. “He is a lot more direct, even visceral, open, and realistic about his likes and dislikes, so overall, this is a good time to be a fun-loving politician instead of a stick-in-the-mud.”
To keep himself “safe” from political fallout, however, Gaetz said he lived by certain “dating” rules. “In Washington, safe sex means in part: no dating lobbyists, no dating your staff members, and I should have added no dating reporters, but I didn’t at first,” he wrote.
Still, he admitted that life in the Beltway can erode one’s morals.
“You don’t drain the swamp, the swamp drains you,” he said, adding: “Of course, it’s even easier to be distracted if you never had any principles. The emptiest of vessels become the most corruptible of officials.”
It’s “hard to party like a rock star when you’re living on a public salary, so others pick up the tab — at a very steep price,” Gaetz wrote. “It’s just your soul — though no one really believes that because it can’t be monetized.”
He added: “Washington, unfortunately, can be a very sexy city. [Henry] Kissinger said power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
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