History tells us that it really did happen:
Former President Trump on Wednesday denied that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) directly asked him for a blanket pardon, and appeared to defend the congressman amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump said in a statement. “It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Gaetz asked White House officials for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and other congressional allies of Trump. Trump was reportedly mulling preemptive pardons for a number of allies in the waning weeks of his presidency, including his adult children, Rudy Giuliani and even himself.
It’s a two-sentence denial. Atypical for him.
Note that the word “directly” does a lot of work in the story linked above.
JUST IN: Donald Trump issues a statement saying Rep. Gaetz never asked him for a pardon.
This follows a report saying Rep. Gaetz — under investigation for sex crimes — sought a blanket pardon from the White House during Trump’s last weeks in office.https://t.co/qix4MnjsrY pic.twitter.com/SBS1LeAoWm
— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) April 7, 2021
Trump releases a statement saying that Rep. Gaetz never asked him for a pardon. But that’s not the reporting — it’s that Gaetz asked the White House and that Trump was aware of the request. Story here w/ @Santucci https://t.co/ye3em3wKgO
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) April 7, 2021