Marc Short, a top aide to former Vice President Mike Pence, slammed Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for telling a crowd over the weekend that Pence could never be president, saying the member of Congress would have no impact on such an outcome. because “he is more likely to be in prison for child sex trafficking by 2024”.
Short was referring to reports that Gaetz is under federal investigation for having sex with a 17-year-old girl and that he violated federal sex trafficking laws, allegations that Gaetz has denied.
During an appearance by Short on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Monday, a clip of Gaetz’s remarks at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit played in which the Florida Republican proclaimed, “Our America is proudly ultra MAGA, not a low-roadside rhino safari,” Gaetz said, referring to former President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
“On that note, let me say what everyone here knows: Mike Pence will never be president,” Gaetz said to cheers from the crowd. “A nice guy. Not a boss.
When asked to respond by CNN host Erin Burnett, Short called Gaetz over his reported outstanding legal issues.
“Well, I don’t know if Mike Pence will run for president in 2024, but I don’t think Matt Gaetz will have an impact on that.” Short said to Burnett. “In fact, I’d be surprised if he still votes, he’s more likely to be in jail for child sex trafficking by 2024.”
“And I’m actually surprised that Florida law enforcement still allows him to speak at teen conferences like this, so I’m not too worried about Matt Gaetz,” he added, referring to the event attended by young conservative students.
The Hill contacted Gaetz’s office for comment.
Short’s appearance on CNN also included confirmation that he testified before a grand jury in Washington, D.C., on Friday in his Jan. 6, 2021 inquest. Short, who also served as Trump’s director of legislative affairs, is the most senior Trump administration official to appear before the grand jury.
Short served as Pence’s chief of staff for nearly two years and was in that role on the day of the Capitol riot, which is being investigated by the Justice Department as well as a House select committee .
Gaetz has denied the sex trafficking allegations and no charges have been brought against him. The New York Times first reported the existence of the federal investigation into Gaetz in March 2021.