The Most Deplorable Person of the Week: Matt Gaetz

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) engaged in an obvious attempt at witness tampering on the night before Michael Cohen testified in front of the House Oversight Committee.

Gaetz apologized after being called out by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but apparently got an “atta boy” call from Donald Trump. Gaetz told the president that he was “happy to do it for you.”

But that isn’t the only deplorable behavior we saw from Gaetz this week. On the day before Cohen testified, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing about the Trump administration’s family separation policy, during which Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) released an explosive report.

Thousands of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment of migrant children in government-funded shelters were made over the past four years, including scores directed against adult staff members, according to federal data released Tuesday.

The cases include allegations of inappropriate touching, staff members allegedly watching minors while they bathed and showing pornographic videos to minors. Some of the allegations included inappropriate conduct by minors in shelters against other minors, as well as by staff members.

Given that the Trump administration basically put out a “pedophiles welcome” sign when they discontinued thorough background checks for staff working at migrant child detention facilities, a report like that should come as no surprise.

Just after Deutch finished questioning the panel about the report, it was Gaetz’s turn. Take a look the question he asked of the child welfare expert from DHS.

Commander White, are people more likely to be sexually abused on their way into our country through the cartel and human trafficking routes or are they more likely to be abused if every allegation made against every U.S. government official were true, which would be the greater propensity for sexual violence.

Notice that Gaetz never acknowledged that the discussion was about children. Instead, he asked whether “people are more likely to be sexually abused.” It seems that, for Gaetz, our government is justified in sexually abusing children as long as they don’t do it as often as traffickers. In response, Commander White re-set the table on the moral question by pointing out that “We don’t set ourselves the standard of just doing better that smugglers and traffickers.” Boom!

I can think of no human being that is more deserving of being named the most deplorable person of the week than Matt Gaetz. I certainly hope that the people of his district are noticing that they sent a real scumbag to Washington to represent them.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.