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Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is currently under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking, is set to speak at a conservative women's conference at former President Trump's Miami golf course on Friday.

What's happening: The Women for America First group will host Gaetz at Trump National Doral golf course, in addition to fellow Florida GOP Reps. Byron Donalds and Kat Cammack.

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) will also be in attendance, per the Washington Post.
  • Gaetz tweeted on Tuesday, "Thank you to 'Women for America First' for the invitation to share my vision for our great nation."

The state of play: Gaetz has denied allegations of being sexually involved with a 17-year-old, telling Axios in an interview last month that the investigation is "rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million."

  • He is also facing accusations of using campaign cash to pay for unauthorized travel expenses and sharing nude photos of a woman he'd slept with to other lawmakers on the floor of the House.
  • Amy Kremer, chair of the pro-Trump nonprofit Women for America First, told the Washington Post in a statement. "We know firsthand what it is like to be treated unfairly by the main stream media." She defended Gaetz as "innocent until proven guilty."

Driving the news: Trump issued his first statement on the Gaetz controversy on Wednesday, writing, "Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Former Rep. Katie Hill: Gaetz must resign if misconduct allegations proven true

Combination images of Rep. Matt Gaetz and former Rep. Katie Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) wrote an op-ed for Vanity Fair Monday that said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) should resign if there's "a fraction of truth" to sexual misconduct allegations.

Driving the news: Hill said she "forged an unlikely friendship in Congress" with Gaetz, who defended her over claims she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a staffer that saw her resign amid a House ethics probe. She noted Gatez denied the claims against him, but he needs to be "held responsible" if they're true.

School principals are not OK

Principal Alice Hom (purple jacket) of New York's Yung Wing School P.S. 124 near a vaccination van in November. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The overwhelming majority of secondary school principals experienced frequent stress last school year, according to a RAND Corporation report out Wednesday.

The big picture: The stress levels among female principals and principals of color were especially stark, with nearly 40% in these groups reporting constant job-related stress, compared to about 24% of male principals and 26% of white principals.

It's official: Stock market having worst start to year ever

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's been a decidedly ugly start to the year for the stock market, with particular pain in the tech trade.

State of play: As of the end of trading Tuesday — the 16th session of the year — 2022 is now, officially, the worst-ever start in the history of the S&P 500, according to data from Ned Davis Research, a stock market research shop.