In March, rumors started floating that Matt Gaetz, currently caught up in a sex trafficking scandal that has him being investigated for allegedly paying for sex with a minor, was eyeing a new career away from Capitol Hill—specifically, a job with the conservative outlet Newsmax, sources told Axios at the time. Now it looks like it's a change of plans for the Florida congressman, with a source from Newsmax telling Reuters that Gaetz had indeed touched base with Newsmax about a position there earlier this year, and that Newsmax balked. Gaetz "reached out and said he might leave Congress early and was interested in TV work," the source says, adding it was nothing more than a "conversation" and that the outlet "never told him we were interested" in adding him to the payroll.
Newsmax spokesperson Brian Peterson is more direct. "Newsmax has had no plans to hire Rep. Gaetz," Peterson says. The spurned job might take a toll on what the Wrap calls Gaetz's "strategic" approach to using the media: In the HBO documentary The Swamp, the 39-year-old lawmaker noted that he picks his TV spots carefully, hoping to turn them into "inflammatory clips" that go viral online. One of the documentary's filmmakers told the Wrap last summer that, toward that end, Gaetz "does hundreds and hundreds of television appearances each year." There's been no comment from Gaetz's camp on the apparent job rejection from Newsmax. (Read more Matt Gaetz stories.)