New York Daily News
A former aide to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) Monday defended his embattled ex-boss against allegations involving sex with underage girls and said he told the FBI he knows nothing about the lurid claims.
Retired Air Force Capt. Nathan Nelson, a wheelchair-bound wounded Afghan war veteran who now works as a tech executive, said he had never seen or heard Gaetz do anything illegal.
“He’s always been very, very professional in his public life,” Nelson said of Gaetz.
“The allegations are baseless,” Nelson added.
Nelson refuted rumors that he quit his post as Gaetz’s military affairs liaison last November over the mushrooming sex scandal.
Nelson said FBI agent quizzed him for two hours last Wednesday about the allegations.
“Congressman Gaetz is a powerhouse for northwest Florida,” said Nelson, who says he hasn’t spoken to Gaetz in several months.
Nelson dodged questions about why an announcement of the event was issued on the official taxpayer-funded letterhead of Gaetz’s congressional office.
“I remain loosely affiliated with Congressman Gaetz’s office as an unpaid adviser,” Nelson said.
Nelson was paralyzed from the chest down in a 2013 rocket attack on his base in Afghanistan, where he was serving his third tour of duty as an Air Force intelligence officer.
Nelson now works as executive director of Northwest Florida Supercomputer Research Group. The wounded military hero also says he’s a motivational speaker with Nelson Ministries.
Gaetz was rocked Friday when his longtime communications director abruptly resigned.
Gaetz was mum on social media early Monday about Nelson’s appearance and his own deep political and legal problems.
The staunch supporter of President Trump is being investigated in connection with friend and political ally Joel Greenberg, a former Orlando-area official who is awaiting trial on 30 counts involving various alleged misdeeds, including sex with underage girls.
Gaetz says he is being targeted for prosecution because of his #MAGA views. The three-term lawmaker from a deep-red Florida Panhandle district insists the sex probe is tied to a separate investigation into whether he was being shaken down in a tangled $25 million extortion plot.
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