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Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A former aide to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Monday that two FBI agents questioned him after people in the media told the FBI that he knew of Gaetz's alleged involvement in illegal sex-trafficking activities.

Driving the news: Nathan Nelson, Gaetz's former director of military affairs, denied at a press conference Monday that he had any knowledge of the matter, and he said that his resignation last fall was not related to the Department of Justice probe into the Florida congressman.

What he's saying: "Neither I nor any other member of Congressman Gaetz’s staff had any knowledge of illegal activities," Nelson said.

  • Nelson said federal agents approached him the day after the New York Times first reported the sex-trafficking investigation.
  • The "baseless claim" that led to his questioning left him "further convinced" that the allegations against Gaetz were fabricated to "discredit a vocal conservative," Nelson said.
  • Nelson worked for Gaetz for over four years before leaving last October, which he said was planned. He added he is still "loosely affiliated" with Gaetz's office as a military adviser but hasn't spoken to Gaetz in several months.

The big picture: Gaetz has denied the allegations and told Axios last week he believes the DOJ is "trying to criminalize my sexual conduct, you know when I was a single guy."

Go deeper

"SNL" cold open mocks Rep. Matt Gaetz on Britney Spears "talk show"

A screenshot of the latest "SNL" cold open. Photo: NBC

The latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open saw Pete Davidson as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) grilled by Chloe Fineman's Britney Spears on sexual misconduct allegations.

Of note: After Davidson's Gaetz emphasized to Fineman's Spears the word "allegedly" over the claims, she summed the matter up by telling the audience they should "judge him by his face."

28 mins ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to hold strategic Iran talks on Tuesday

Jake Sullivan. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty

Top national security officials from the U.S. and Israel will convene virtually on Tuesday for a second round of strategic talks on Iran, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The talks come two days after an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility that experts consider a likely act of Israeli sabotage, and one day before the U.S. resumes indirect nuclear talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal — a prospect that has raised anxiety levels in Jerusalem.

Updated 35 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

Police: Officer who shot Daunte Wright accidentally pulled gun instead of taser

The officer who fatally shot a 20-year-old Black man outside Minneapolis Sunday appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a taser, police said.

Driving the news: "This appears to me, from what I viewed in the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday.

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