Sen. Markwayne Mullin defends net worth by attacking Matt Gaetz over 'daddy’s money'

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5 June 2024

Senator Markwayne Mullin has recently engaged in a heated exchange with Representative Matt Gaetz over social media, defending his net worth and business achievements. The controversy erupted after Gaetz shared a graphic on X (formerly known as Twitter), highlighting Mullin's significant net worth increase from approximately $12 million in 2018 to $63 million in 2022. In response, Gaetz called for a ban on stock trading by Congress members.

Mullin, defending his financial success, fired back at Gaetz by criticizing his reliance on inherited wealth, stating, “I hear Rep. Matt Gaetz has criticism of hard-earned success — he should try building a business that gains value, it’s more gratifying than living off your daddy’s money.” Gaetz retorted by focusing on Mullin’s stock trades, emphasizing the need to ban such practices in Congress.

According to Capitol Trades, Mullin bought between $15,000 and $50,000 in RTX Corp, formerly Raytheon Technologies stock, on September 13. Raytheon’s stock surged by 6% following the Hamas attack against Israel on October 7, raising questions about the timing of Mullin’s investment. 

Gaetz, whose family has an estimated net worth of almost $30 million according to Forbes, has a political background with his father, Don Gaetz, having served as the president of the Florida Senate. Mullin, on the other hand, has a more diverse background, overcoming childhood challenges such as a speech impediment and leg braces, competing professionally in mixed martial arts, and running his own plumbing company before entering politics.

This incident is not the first public spat for Mullin, who recently clashed with Teamsters President Sean O'Brien during a Senate hearing, challenging him to a fight.

As calls for greater transparency and stricter regulations on congressional stock trading grow, the debate over potential conflicts of interest continues to spotlight the financial activities of lawmakers like Mullin.

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