10 Things in Politics: Matt Gaetz and Fox News broke up

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10 Things in Politics: Matt Gaetz and Fox News broke up
Fox News

Good morning and welcome to 10 Things in Politics. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.

I'm the Insider politics reporter Oma Seddiq, filling in for Brent Griffiths. Send me tips at oseddiq@insider.com or @omaseddiq.

Here's what we're talking about today:

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1. IT'S OVER BETWEEN MATT GAETZ AND FOX NEWS: A breakup is never easy - especially when it's between a congressman and a cable-news network.

Rep. Matt Gaetz hasn't appeared on Fox News in nearly three months. The Florida Republican had been a regular until then, but one of his former staffers told Insider he'd since been "excommunicated within the Fox News circles."

  • Gaetz last hit Fox's airwaves on March 30, the same day The New York Times broke the news that he was under investigation over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and violated federal sex-trafficking laws.

The interview turned disastrous when Gaetz flipped the script and brought up a decades-old sexual-misconduct allegation made against the host Tucker Carlson, which Carlson said was "not true." Watch Carlson's reaction here.

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  • A "pissed" Carlson later described the interview as "one of the weirdest" he'd ever conducted. One Republican close to Fox News' operations said the host would probably never book Gaetz on his show again: "What Matt did to Tucker, he might as well have hooked up with his wife. That was horrible."

Before the fallout, Gaetz appeared on Fox News over a dozen times in March.

Read more about the end of Gaetz's love affair with Fox News.


2. NYT outs Carlson as popular anonymous source: Speaking of Fox News and Tucker Carlson, The New York Times' media columnist, Ben Smith, wrote over the weekend that Carlson was a frequent anonymous source for news outlets.

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  • Carlson recently described journalists as "cringing animals who are not worthy of respect." Yet Smith wrote the Fox News host was well-connected with reporters and provided them with information and gossip for their stories.

Several journalists who don't work at The Times said Carlson had relayed unflattering information about Donald Trump, as well as details about the internal politics at Fox News. More on that here.


3. That time Jared Kushner was said to lash out over masks: A forthcoming book by two Washington Post reporters provides an inside look at the Trump administration's bungled pandemic response. One explosive episode: In late March 2020, Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, Kushner, reportedly lashed out at a health official once he learned about the long wait for mask shipments:

  • "You f---ing moron," Kushner reportedly told Robert Kadlec, then an assistant secretary of health and human services, who had purchased 600 million masks as coronavirus infections rose across the country. "We'll all be dead by June."

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4. A major win for college athletes: The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that the NCAA could not limit education-related compensation for student athletes, potentially opening the door for more antitrust lawsuits.

  • Justice Brett Kavanaugh ripped the organization in a concurring opinion, saying the organization was "not above the law." He also wrote: "Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate."

5. Despite an ethics investigation, Rep. Tom Malinowski keeps trading stocks: Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey, is under investigation for failing to properly disclose dozens of stock trades during 2019 and 2020. This hasn't stopped him from trading - in April, he purchased up to $50,000 worth of shares in Peloton.


6. Iran's next president could cause problems for Biden: Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi won't be inaugurated until August, but he's already rejected the notion of meeting with President Joe Biden. He also said he wouldn't negotiate over the country's ballistic-missile program or relinquish support for regional militias that have fomented attacks against US and Israeli troops, per the Associated Press.

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7. The candidates vying to take over the Trump investigation: Manhattanites will vote today in the primary for the next Manhattan district attorney - and the winner will almost certainly oversee the criminal investigation into the Trump Organization.

  • All candidates told Insider how they'd handle the investigation into the Trump Organization's and Donald Trump's finances.
  • Some criticized opponents over perceived conflicts of interest, but all vowed to protect New Yorkers, keeping in mind the violence at the US Capitol on January 6.

Here's how they say they'd handle the case.

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8. Rep. Liz Cheney is surrounded by a security detail after death threats: The threats, which followed Cheney's vote to impeach Trump, led her campaign to spend $58,000 on security, according to a report by The New York Times.

  • Her father, Dick Cheney, had warned her: The Times also reports that the former VP called her on January 6, after Trump directly targeted her in a speech and vowed to get rid of "the Liz Cheneys of the world." Moments after the call, rioters breached the Capitol.

9. Behold, the seven most affordable US cities to live in now: Americans embarked on a major migration over the past year. And so, the ranking and reviews website Niche ranked the most affordable places to live in America, based on access to affordable housing, government data, median tax rates, and more. The findings:

  • Secretary Pete's hometown of South Bend, Indiana, made the cut.
  • So did Brownsville, Texas - close to where SpaceX plans to set up launch facilities.

Check out the full list of affordable cities here.

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10. National parks are seeing Disneyland-like crowds: Places like Arches National Park in Utah are on track to have their busiest year yet - and might have to close their gates if crowds don't subside.

  • Memorial Day weekend signaled an influx of tourists: Yellowstone National Park saw a 50% increase in cars compared with 2019, and Zion National Park had a four-hour wait time for hikes.
  • See the massive crowds for yourself.

Today's trivia question: Judy Garland died on this day in 1969. During her life, which president did she sing to over the phone? Email your answer and suggested question to oseddiq@insider.com.

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