Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz uses RNC speech to spread conspiracies and claim Democrats will 'disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door'

  • Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz used his speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday to paint a dystopian and largely false picture of the US under a potential Joe Biden presidency.
  • The Florida congressman claimed that Democrats will "disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door."
  • Gaetz is among President Trump's most vocal supporters in Congress, and he didn't mince words during his speech at the Republican National Convention, urging voters to deliver Trump a win in the November election.
  • Gaetz is well known for using congressional hearings to push unfounded conspiracy theories and Republican talking points.
  • He also landed in hot water this year after two separate reports said he shelled out more than $200,000 in taxpayer funds to a limited liability company and a longtime friend and donor.
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Florida congressman Matt Gaetz used his speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday to paint a dystopian and largely false picture of the US under a potential Joe Biden presidency.

"I'm speaking to you from an auditorium emptier than Joe Biden's daily schedule," Gaetz said in his opening. "We see the choice clearly: strength or weakness, energy or confusion, success or failure."

"We must fight to save America now or we may lose her forever," he went on. "Joe Biden may not even notice. 'Settle for Biden,' that's the hashtag promoted by AOC and the socialists."

He added that the "woketopians" will make Biden "an extra in a movie written, produced, and directed by others. It's a horror film, really."

The Florida congressman falsely claimed that Democrats will "disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door."

"And the police aren't coming when you call in Democrat-run cities, they're already being defunded, disbanded," he said, alluding to recent calls from left-wing activists to defund local police organizations in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody. "Blaming our best and allowing society's worst? That's the story they write in Hollywood. That's if the lights even stay on in California anymore. They used to write only in fiction, but nightmares are becoming real."

Cops killed, children shot," he said. "At the Democrat convention they say if you vote against Trump, it will all stop. Appeasement is never a winning strategy. No, we won't settle for violence in our neighborhoods or at our border. We won't settle for decades of bad decisions by basement-dwelling Joe Biden."

Gaetz went on to praise Trump for raising "his voice and a ruckus" because "he knows that's what it takes to raise an army of patriots who love America and will protect her."

Gaetz was one of several featured speakers at the 2020 Republican National Convention. Others included Donald Trump Jr., his girlfriend and former Fox personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, Sen. Tim Scott, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, and RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel.

Gaetz and Jordan are among the president's most vocal supporters in Congress, and Gaetz didn't mince words during his speech as he urged voters to deliver Trump a second term in office.

Gaetz also frequently joins Jordan in using congressional hearings to push unfounded conspiracy theories and Republican talking points. He's falsely accused Democrats of engineering the FBI's Russia investigation to tank Trump's 2016 campaign; alleged without evidence that tech companies are secretly working with Democrats to censor conservative speech; and recently asked the Justice Department to investigate Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after accusing him of lying to Congress.

Earlier this year, he drew harsh backlash when he blasted out a tweet equating Antifa with terrorists and asked to "hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East." Twitter flagged Gaetz's tweet for violating company policy by glorifying violence but said it would not remove the tweet because it was in the public interest.

Gaetz landed in hot water last month when Politico reported that he may have violated House rules by sending nearly $30,000 in taxpayer funds to a limited liability company. In April, it also surfaced that he shelled out $184,000 in taxpayer funds to rent office space from a longtime friend and donor.

The House Ethics Committee also investigated Gaetz over a February 2019 tweet in which he indicated that he would release embarrassing information about the former Trump fixer Michael Cohen ahead of Cohen's testimony to Congress.

"Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat," Gaetz wrote at the time. "I wonder if she'll remain faithful to you in prison. She's about to learn a lot." 

Multiple legal experts and former federal prosecutors said Gaetz's tweet may constitute witness intimidation and obstruction of Congress. Last week, the House Ethics Committee released its findings in the investigation and admonished Gaetz but concluded he "did not violate witness tampering and obstruction of Congress laws."

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