Rep. Matt Gaetz caused quite a stir on Thursday when he tweeted a photo of him and a teenager, writing, "For all those wondering, this is my son Nestor. We share no blood but he is my life. He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida. I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life." Gaetz made the revelation after a Wednesday hearing at the House Judiciary Committee on police reform during which Rep. Cedric Richmond sparred with Gaetz. "As a black male ... who has a black son, who has worries that you all don’t, and to my colleagues, especially the ones that keep introducing amendments that are a tangent and a distraction from what we’re talking about, you all are white males," Richmond said. Gaetz says he was "triggered" when Richmond "diminished the contributions of Republicans because we don’t raise non-white kids. Well, I have."
Gaetz tells People he was dating Nestor's sister when the then-12-year-old arrived from Cuba, having just lost his mother to breast cancer, and Nestor has lived with him much of the time since then, though Gaetz never formally adopted him. Gaetz's revelation led to much mocking and "instantly became a copypasta meme," Mashable reports, with others sharing the post verbatim along with pictures of other amusing pairs. Gaetz's revelation also sparked accusations that he was trotting Nestor out for political reasons, though both Gaetz and Nestor himself say it was Nestor's choice, now that he's an adult (he just graduated from high school), to go public. The accusations also sparked support from the other side of the aisle, with Democrats including former Rep. Katie Hill standing up for Gaetz. "Many of you know @mattgaetz & I have an unlikely friendship," she tweeted. "He talks about Nestor more than anything, has done so much for his son & is truly a proud dad. This #freenestor thing is bulls---. Stop." Gaetz and Nestor appeared on Fox Thursday night. (Read more Matt Gaetz stories.)