Matt Gaetz Back on Tucker Carlson Exactly a Year After 'Weirdest' Interview

Florida congressman Matt Gaetz appeared on Fox News for the first time in exactly a year on Wednesday night to discuss the sex trafficking allegations against him with Tucker Carlson.

On March 30, 2021, The New York Times first reported that Gaetz was under investigation over allegations he was having sex with a 17-year-old and paid her to travel with him, including over state lines.

Later that evening, Gaetz appeared on Carlson's show to dispute the allegations, which he said were a part of a wider plot to distort him and his family.

During the interview, Gaetz also told a story about when he brought a friend to dinner he had with Carlson and his wife, where his friend claimed she was "threatened" by the FBI to say the congressman was involved in a so-called pay-for-play scheme.

In reply, Carlson said he did not recall what Gaetz was talking about, before telling viewers that the congressman's appearance was "one of the weirdest interviews I've ever conducted."

Gaetz did not appear on Fox News for the next year, but returned to the network Wednesday night to once again deny the allegations against him—for which he has not been charged.

While introducing Gaetz, Carlson noted that it had been exactly 365 days since Gaetz last appeared on Fox News, and again described his previous interview as "one of the weirdest" he has ever done.

Carlson then asked Gaetz whether he expects to be charged in connection to the allegations against him.

"No, this was an operation to destroy me, to harm my family, and to hinder my ability to serve the district and the movement that I represent in Congress," Gaetz said.

Gaetz said the "most important thing that's happened since our last on-air discussion" was that Florida businessman Stephen Alford pleaded guilty to attempting to extort money from the congressman's father in November 2021.

"I'm innocent. I have maintained my innocence. I have been entirely consistent on this fact. And each and every day the lies about me unravel and are debunked."

In June 2021, The Daily Beast reported that Gaetz had been put on an informal blacklist at Fox News while the sex trafficking investigation into him continued.

CNN also previously reported that Carlson was angry at Gaetz for the comments he made during the interview last March, during which the congressman also brought up decades old false rape allegations aimed at Carlson.

"You and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there. I brought a friend of mine," Gaetz told Carlson on March 30, 2021.

"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.

"So, I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me. Providing flights and hotel rooms for people that you are dating who are of legal age is not a crime."

Carlson responded by saying: "I don't remember the woman you are speaking of or the context at all, honestly."

Gaetz has been contacted for further comment.

Matt Gaetz  tucker
Rep. Matt Gaetz appeared on Fox News's Tucker Carlson show on Wednesday night exactly one year after he was last on the network. Samuel Corum/ Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images