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Rep. Matt Gaetz in Doral, Florida, last week. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) announced Wednesday a six-figure ad buy for a spot that takes aim at CNN as part of an offensive to hit back at mounting sexual misconduct allegations, Politico first reported.

Driving the news: Gaetz is under federal investigation following sex trafficking allegations, and the House Ethics Committee has also opened an inquiry. Announcing the 30-second ad, to run in his Florida Panhandle district, Gaetz called on his Twitter followers to "help us fight back!"

  • The Friends of Matt Gaetz campaign committee said in the statement to Politico that the ad was designed to highlight a smear campaign against him, which it added was "aimed at taking out a Congressman of the United States."

The big picture: Gaetz has strongly denied all allegations against him.

  • Two of his senior aides resigned earlier this month over the claims, but Gaetz declared last Friday that he's not "going anywhere" and vowed he had "not yet begun to fight."

Of note: The ad features footage from Project Veritas, a conservative activist group known for using practices considered unethical in journalism, including deceptive editing and spreading disinformation.

  • A man identified as a CNN employee in the ad speaks about the news outlet's coverage of Gaetz.
  • Representatives for Gaetz and CNN did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders: U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Stefani Reynolds via Getty Images

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

4 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: Uber makes new hire, launches anti-racism campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios was first to report.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.