Transcript for Florida congressman faces allegations of inappropriate relationship
Tonight, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz is defending himself amid reports the justice department is investigating his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl. A federal investigation going back months now, back when bill Barr was attorney general. What the congressman tonight now claims. Here's ABC's Rachel Scott. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. That is totally false. Reporter: Tonight, Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz firing back at allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. Reporter: The denial following a "New York Times" report that Gaetz is currently under investigation by the justice department. And that the probe started months ago during the trump adminsitration, when bill Barr was attorney general. Investigators looking into the alleged relationship from two years ago and whether Gaetz possibly violated sex trafficking laws when he allegedly paid travel and other expenses for the teen. Late today, sources telling ABC news that federal authorities have already interviewed multiple witnesses and that the probe into his conduct has expanded beyond Florida. The conversative firebrand and trump ally insisting he is the victim, alleging extortion, claiming a former doj official reached out to his family just weeks ago. A person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away. Gaetz telling axios he's, quote, a generous partner in his adult relationship, who has paid for flights, for hotel rooms, and that now someone is trying to make that look criminal when it's not. The congressman also went on fox News just hours after the story break trying to defend himself. You and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine, you'll remember her and she was actually threatened by the FBI, told that if she wouldn't cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay for play scheme that she could face trouble. I don't remember the woman you're speaking of or the context at all, honestly. Reporter: House Republican leader Kevin Mccarthy calling those allegations against Gaetz serious. He said, if they are true, he will be stripped from his committee assignments, but for now, he is waiting for more information, and tonight, the department of justice still declining to comment, David. Rachel, thank you. When we come back here tonight, tracking dangerous
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