Cassidy Hutchinson Denies Matt Gaetz’s Claim That They Once Dated: ‘I Have Much Higher Standards in Men’

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Hutchinson alleges in a new memoir that Gaetz made apparent passes at her during her time as a White House aide. The far-right congressman responded with a claim of his own: that they briefly dated

<p>Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty, Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty</p> Cassidy Hutchinson (left) alleges in her new memoir, "Enough," that Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (right) made a pass at her at Camp David in 2020

Cassidy Hutchinson wants to set the record straight that she and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz never dated, telling MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, "I have much higher standards in men."

In Hutchinson's new memoir, Enough, the former White House aide alleges that Gaetz was flirtatious with her at times during her tenure in the Trump administration, even making a pass at her late at night during a 2020 Camp David retreat.

When the allegation was made public before the book's release on Tuesday, Gaetz said in a statement that he has no recollection of her story and responded with a claim of his own: that he and Hutchinson briefly dated years ago before parting amicably and remaining friends.

Related: The Biggest Bombshells in Trump Whistleblower Cassidy Hutchinson's New White House Memoir

"I will give Matt credit [to] his part of the statement that we did have an amicable working relationship and we were good friends — at points," Hutchinson told Maddow on Monday night, responding to Gaetz's rebuttal. "Matt Gaetz, in my opinion, is somebody that I personally do not hold in high regards in terms of trust, and I do not think that Matt Gaetz has the best track record for relationships."

She continued, "I will say for myself: I have never dated Matt Gaetz. I have much higher standards in men, and Matt, frankly, is a very unserious politician ... I don't really have much else to say to somebody that is more concerned about a soundbite than actually passing legislation."

Related: Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz Eloped amid Scandal and Sex Trafficking Investigation

<p>Drew Angerer/Getty</p> Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz

Drew Angerer/Getty

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz

Throughout Hutchinson's memoir, she describes Gaetz as someone who hung around frequently and was often disregarded by White House officials. In one story, she alleges that — at a bar following President Donald Trump's first impeachment — Gaetz "brushed his thumb across my chin" and said, "Has anyone ever told you that you're a national treasure?"

She also says that her then-boss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, once warned her to keep a distance from Gaetz, suggesting that federal prosecutors were investigating him for possible criminal behavior. (It was later reported that the Justice Department had investigated his involvement in a sex trafficking scandal, though charges were never filed).

Related: Matt Gaetz May Have Trouble Ahead — House Ethics Committee Quietly Reopens Its Probe into His Conduct: Report

Brandon Bell/Getty Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testifies live before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on June 28, 2022
Brandon Bell/Getty Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testifies live before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on June 28, 2022

As for the Camp David incident, Hutchinson claims in her book that around 1 a.m. on May 16, 2020 — while she and a couple of Republican congressmen were drinking in GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy's cabin — someone knocked on the door.

"I thought it was Camp David's staff coming to quiet us down — Kevin's cabin was across from the president's. But when Kevin opened the door, we discovered Matt Gaetz leaning against the door frame," she writes. "Matt straightened his posture when Kevin asked him what he wanted, and he explained that he had seen my golf cart parked outside and thought that this was my cabin."

She continues: "Embarrassed, I got up and asked Matt what he needed. He explained that he was lost and needed me to escort him back to his cabin. I told him to proceed around the circle drive—all the cabins were clearly marked and it was impossible to get lost. He asked me one more time to leave with him. 'Get a life, Matt,' Kevin said, then shut the door."

Related: First Look at Cassidy Hutchinson's Memoir: Trump Whistleblower Details Life After Jan. 6 Testimony (Exclusive)

In Gaetz's statement refuting Hutchinson's claims, he concluded, "It is sad to see Cassidy dishonestly turn against so many people who cared about her for fame and book sales."

Hutchinson previously told PEOPLE that she stands by "everything" in her book and is not afraid of how those who are mentioned react.

"If somebody wants to attack the way that they come off in the book, I'm not going to hold myself responsible for what they may say about the way that they're framed," she said in the September interview. "I'm holding them accountable to their own actions."

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