A Republican primary challenger to Rep. Matt Gaetz has released an attack ad suggesting the Florida congressman tipped off the FBI about potentially classified documents stored at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach.
“When Trump really endorses someone, he goes big,” the ad’s narrator says. “What does Trump know? Is Gaetz the informant?”
The 30-second spot by Mark Lombardo’s campaign tells voters that Gaetz “puts himself first, ahead of Trump and ahead of you,” noting that the Florida lawmaker unsuccessfully pressured Trump for a blanket pardon after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. It also slammed him for paying an attorney who represented the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Trump’s base has been incensed amid reports that an informant tipped off the FBI about documents kept at Trump’s Florida home, paving the way for last week’s raid of the property.
Lombardo, a Marine combat veteran, bills himself as an “America-first conservative” who supports Trump. On his site, he accuses Gaetz of repeatedly showing poor judgment and putting his “political interests ahead of YOURS.”
There has not been any public evidence to suggest that Gaetz is the informant.
The Florida lawmaker is leading the primary race despite being under investigation for the alleged sex trafficking of a minor.
The Gaetz campaign told Insider in a statement Wednesday that Gaetz is “endorsed by President Trump.”
“Mark Lombardo is busy trying to please Resistance Liberals with plays from the Lincoln Project playbook. Congressman Gaetz is fighting for Florida and the Trump agenda,” a spokesperson said.