Rep. Matt Gaetz told reporters he would not attend Trump’s announcement at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday.
Gaetz blamed the weather in Washington, DC, but said he would attend “in spirit.”
Most flights out of Washington have not been delayed due to weather.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz — one of the Republican lawmakers who was supposed to attend former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago event on Tuesday — said he would no longer be able to attend.
Many believe the Palm Beach, Florida, event is where Trump will announce his candidacy in the 2024 presidential race.
Gaetz, who is currently in Washington, DC, told Associated Press reporter Farnoush Amiri on Tuesday he would not be able to attend the rally due to inclement weather affecting his flight, but said he would support Trump “in spirit.”
A spokesperson for Gaetz clarified to Insider that Gaetz could not make his flight to Mar-a-Lago because the GOP House leadership vote occurred at the same time as his scheduled flight and the congressman hoped the weather would delay the flight.
“Unfortunately, because of the timing of both the scheduled House leadership vote and his flight, he is unable to attend President Trump’s event tonight,” the spokesperson said.
However, the Independent reported 80% of flights coming out of Reagan National Airport were on schedule, despite light drizzle.
Gaetz has been one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, tweeting the night before the Nov. 8 primary election that Trump should have announced his candidacy at a rally in Vandalia, Ohio. Trump used the rally to tell supporters that he would have a “big announcement” in Florida on Tuesday.
Following the news that he would not make the rally, Gaetz posted a photo on Twitter of him and Trump with the caption “Trump 2024!”
During a press conference Tuesday, Gaetz also told reporters he would support Trump “1000%” and also referenced Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another potential 2024 presidential candidate.
“I’m very close with President Trump and Governor DeSantis, but President Trump has a unique ability to invigorate our movement and he’ll have my support when he announces tonight,” Gaetz said.
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