The mere whiff of a scandal once unraveled political careers with stunning speed. Not anymore.

Embroiled in a federal sex trafficking investigation, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has denied the allegations, rebuffed suggestions that he resign and sent fundraising appeals that portray him as a victim of a “smear campaign.” During a high-profile appearance Friday night at former President Donald Trump’s Doral golf club in Miami, he vowed, “I have not yet begun to fight.”

“I’m built for the battle and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz said. “The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life to wild — and I mean wild — conspiracy theories.”

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