Gaetz pounds former GOP colleague turned Disney lobbyist

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., slammed his former Republican colleague-turned-Disney lobbyist in a tense exchange on Tuesday.

Gaetz criticized former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., during the committee’s hearing on government access to American’s personal data. Goodlatte was there to inform the Judiciary Committee on how data collection practices can violate Constitutional rights.

Goodlatte, who retired in 2018, was asked by Gaetz about his work with Disney and what the company is doing to prevent children’s data from being sold.

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Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said he was worried about “private entities” trying to “program people.”

Gaetz said he was worried about “private entities” trying to “program” people and “make them think a certain way” by wrongfully taking advantage of people’s data, according to Fox News.

“Like particularly with the Walt Disney corporation that it is in business with the Chinese Communist Party,” Gaetz said pointing to Disney working with and thanking China for filming in Xinjiang where genocide against the Uighur Muslims has been taking place.

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Regarding the selling of data, Gaetz asked Goodlatte “Does it concern you that the Walt Disney corporation is selling the information of children?”

Goodlatte responded to Gaetz stating “I don’t know if that’s the fact,” with Gaetz asking if he was being “purposefully ignorant” to the practices of Disney. Gaetz then asked,

“are you purposefully not learning them so that you can simultaneously take money from Disney to try to make them look less evil to Republicans and then advocate on behalf of other organizations before the Congress that critique the very work that Disney’s doing.”

Goodlatte responded to Gaetz’s question, stating that he was in front of Congress to “advocate on behalf of people who are concerned about abuses of the fourth amendment.”

Gaetz went on and brought up a prior conversation that the pair had as members of the Capitol Hill Club.

Gaetz spoke out and asked Goodlatte “Chairman Goodlatte, do you remember a conversation you and I had when you led this committee at the Capitol Hill Club where you said, ‘The best way to be successful in the Judiciary Committee is to find interest groups that are opposed to one another and to tell both of them that you’ll support their positions, so they’ll both make donations?’”

Goodlatte said he “definitely” did not “remember the conversation.”

Gaetz ended the exchange by referencing multiple articles in the congressional record that he referenced during the hearing, one including a Los Angeles Times report on Disney using robots to collect park-goers’ personal data.

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