“There were no threats,” Kent said. “There were no demands.”
CNN has reached out to Gaetz’s office for comment on Kent’s interview.
That document suggested the FBI “became aware of compromising pictures” of Matt Gaetz and another election official involved with “underage prostitutes” during an unrelated investigation into political corruption. It suggests that Don Gaetz can mitigate his son’s potential legal troubles by arranging for the funds needed to release Levinson from captivity in Iran.
But Kent — who acknowledged sending the text in the interview with Cuomo — maintained Monday evening that his communications with Don Gaetz weren’t part of an extortion plot.
“When I left, the last thing I told Don Gaetz was that you’ll never hear from me again. I’m not a threat to you or your son. I won’t talk to the press. I’m not going to say a bad word about him,” he said.
Matt Gaetz has named former Department of Justice prosecutor David McGee as being involved in the alleged plot as well, something McGee denies.
A person briefed on the probe confirmed to CNN that federal authorities were investigating Gaetz as part of a broader probe into trafficking allegations against another Florida politician, an investigation that began in the closing months of the Trump-era Justice Department under Attorney General William Barr.
CNN has previously reported that investigators are examining whether Gaetz’s involvement with other young women broke federal sex trafficking and prostitution laws, according to the person briefed on the probe and another person briefed on the matter. Investigators are also pursuing allegations from witnesses and other evidence that Gaetz may have used cash and drugs in his dealings with young women, the sources said.
Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes and has called the allegations against him false. The Gaetz investigation is still in its early stages, according to sources familiar with the matter.
CNN’s Evan Perez, Jeremy Herb, Ryan Nobles and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.