Jimmy Kimmel had the unique pleasure of being the only late-night host not on hiatus during the week that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was embroiled in a sex-trafficking scandal. And on Wednesday night, he took full advantage of the situation.
“Florida congressman Matt Gaetz is having a bad week after a bombshell report by the New York Times last night,” the host began. “If you’re not familiar with Matt Gaetz, this is his Twitter profile,” Kimmel added, putting up the photo of the congressman taking a selfie with Donald Trump that appears across the top of his page. “That should tell you all you need to know.”
“Matt Gaetz is basically the shrimp tail in your Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” he continued. “He is not well-liked by anyone. And he is reportedly being investigated by the Department of Justice. They’re looking into whether or not he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her travel across state lines, which becomes sex trafficking.”
Kimmel then reminded viewers that Gaetz was the only congressman, Democrat or Republican, who voted against an anti-human trafficking bill in 2017. “He’s one of the worst of the worst,” he said. “Even his fellow Republicans are reportedly celebrating this. But not only does Gaetz deny the charges, he tried to explain to Tucker Carlson last night that the real victim is him!”
From there, the late-night host dug deep into the extremely bizarre appearance Gaetz made on Fox News Tuesday night, during which he desperately tried and failed to find common ground with Carlson, at one point bringing up sexual-assault allegations that were raised against the Fox News host years earlier.
“Tucker’s like, how the hell did I get roped into this?” Kimmel joked.
In return, Carlson referred to his accuser as a “mentally ill” viewer and asserted that “being accused falsely is one of the worst things that can happen” to a person.
“I know this because I do it almost every night on my show,” Kimmel added. “Although, to be fair to Tucker Carlson, all of his viewers are mentally ill.”
“This interview was so all over the place you’d think Matt Gaetz owned a pillow company,” the host continued, playing yet more unhinged highlights from the sit-down. He explained that despite Gaetz’s claims that the allegations all stem from a politically motivated extortion plot, it “isn’t a partisan investigation” and in fact originated under Trump’s Justice Department.
Finally, Kimmel gleefully shared the baffled post-mortem that Carlson offered his viewers after his segment with Gaetz. “That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted,” Carlson said.
“This is a man who interviewed someone who claims Hillary Clinton was running a satanic pedophile operation out of a pizza place,” Kimmel replied. “So there’s always a twist!”
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