Markwayne Mullin Slaps Back After Matt Gaetz Says His Stock Trades Are 'Corrupt'

@crgibs
Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Matt Gaetz

Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are having a public back-and-forth on social media after the latter accused his fellow Republican of corruption.

On Wednesday, Gaetz posted a graphic to X (formerly Twitter) showing that Mullin's wealth had increased from $12 million, when he was a member of the House of Representatives, to $63 million in 2022 after several years in the US Senate. Gaetz tweeted the graphic with the words "we should pass a ban on trading stocks!"

Mullin didn't take kindly to Gaetz's post, and attacked the Florida congressman's "criticism of hard-earned success," adding that "he should try building a business that gains value" and that doing so is "more gratifying than living off your daddy’s money."

Gaetz, for his part, shot back at Mullin, tweeting that the only thing he criticized was Mullin's stock trades as a member of Congress.

"I want to ban those trades," Gaetz posted. "You cashed in and made millions."

Mullin's point about Gaetz's wealth is true: The far-right Florida congressman comes from an incredibly wealthy family, with Forbes estimating his father and mother's net worth at approximately $30 million as of June 2020. Gaetz's father, Don, is a former hospital executive who oversaw facilities in Florida and Wisconsin, and who eventually founded hospice provider Vitas Healthcare. Don and Victoria Gaetz now own multiple seven-figure stakes in various companies, 13 pieces of real estate and have a large and diverse stock portfolio.

However, Mullin is also a beneficiary of family wealth. According to a 2012 Roll Call profile of Mullin, the Oklahoma congressman admitted to inheriting his father's plumbing company, which he then built up over the years. Mullin — a mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiast — has also founded an MMA gym called "Oklahoma Fight Club." Mullin's penchant for fisticuffs was on full display during a Senate committee hearing in November, when he challenged International Brotherhood of Teamsters president Sean O'Brien to a fight before being deterred by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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