Florida GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz on Thursday made a shocking revelation: he has a Cuban-born “son” named Nestor.
“For all those wondering, this is my son Nestor,” Gaetz tweeted on Thursday. “We share no blood but he is my life. He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida.”
“I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life,” Gaetz added.
He continued: “Nestor turned 19 a few days ago & will be off to University. He arrived here at 12. As you can imagine, I was triggered when (to make an absurd debate point) a fellow congressman diminished the contributions of Republicans because we don’t raise non-white kids. Well, I have.”
For all those wondering, this is my son Nestor. We share no blood but he is my life. He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida.
I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life. pic.twitter.com/JB96wzOzYU
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 18, 2020
Gaetz was referring to a heated back-and-forth he had on Wednesday with Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond (D).
Many Twitter users wondered why Gaetz had never mentioned he had a son named Nestor before using him to score political points against a Democratic Congressman.
If Nestor is not your adopted son but has some other relationship to you, then that raises a whole slew of other questions that people may can get into and investigate but I’m going to steer clear of that because Nestor is an otherwise innocent bystander that you brought here.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) June 18, 2020
In 2016, Gaetz referred to Nestor as a “local student” who worked as a “House page.”
“It was great working with local students Sofia Burleson and Nestor Galban in Tallahassee this last week. They were fantastic House pages,” he wrote.
I love when my Dad calls me “Local student” too. You seem close. pic.twitter.com/O09vXQ0lOg
— heathercore⚠️🐛 (@heathercore) June 18, 2020
In one newly surfaced video, Gaetz refers to Nestor as his “helper.”
not too long ago Nestor was a “helper” so is adoption an upgrade or downgradepic.twitter.com/fzQIcQFawj
— Will’s ‘Tucker Carlson Constipation’ SNL Cold Open (@bywillpollock) June 18, 2020
A 2014 campaign website for former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi refers to Nestor as a “House Page.”
Cute pic, from Pam Bondi’s old website ca. 2014. You and your ‘son.’ pic.twitter.com/x9sfXdcfWe
— Lesley Abravanel🆘 (@lesleyabravanel) June 18, 2020
Matt’s sister took to Twitter to defend her brother, calling him “an incredible father”.
“Nestor came into our lives when he was 12 and had just lost his mother. He didn’t speak English, but luckily, Matt speaks Spanish,” she wrote.
“Matt has been an incredible father to Nestor, who just graduated from high school and will be attending college in the fall. So proud of them both.”
She posted several pictures and videos of the two together through the years.
“The only picture she could find.” https://t.co/JxA6HOSz68 pic.twitter.com/4lU3fCxjBI
— Erin Gaetz (@ErinGaetz) June 18, 2020
Former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill also came to his defense, tweeting: “I can’t stand a lot of his beliefs but he’s been there for me when others haven’t. He talks about Nestor more than anything, has done so much for his son & is truly a proud dad.”
Many of you know @mattgaetz & I have an unlikely friendship. I can’t stand a lot of his beliefs but he’s been there for me when others haven’t. He talks about Nestor more than anything, has done so much for his son & is truly a proud dad. This #freenestor thing is bullshit. Stop. https://t.co/qqOx9opXzH
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) June 18, 2020
Many Twitter users mocked Gaetz’s “son” revelation.
These were closeted gay men & their BFs were adults. And these gay men were closeted because being openly gay was so risky that it felt impossible. And out gay men couldn’t adopt anyway. Now that out gay men can get married, there’s no reason for a gay man to adopt his adult BF.
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) June 18, 2020
This is my pool boy, Javier. He’s 30 and I “adopted” him three years ago. 😉 pic.twitter.com/FApYbPYUYA
— Linda Childers (@lindarchilders) June 18, 2020
Just to be clear about what’s being mocked today…
A single man adopting or fostering an older kid: Excellent.
Keeping it secret for 7 years: Weird.
Calling him your “helper” or “local student”: Creepy.
Revealing his existence only when it’s politically convenient: Contemptible.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) June 18, 2020
I love when my son venmos me seven years into our relationship with “this Nestor” https://t.co/UxK74eK2ME
— my large adult son/intern, nestor, (@arguendope) June 18, 2020
— Clark (@Clark408) June 18, 2020
But hey, congrats, Matt! You managed to derail the conversation about the immense danger and fear that black people—especially black men—face every day at the hands of law enforcement, & make it about you instead!
You are truly a force of white entitlement to be reckoned with. pic.twitter.com/ym3SC9G8qw
— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) June 18, 2020