By CBS3 Staff

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ripped Congressman Matt Gaetz and the New York Young Republican Club for holding a fundraising gala in Jersey City on Thursday night. Murphy said during Friday’s press conference that they allegedly snuck into Jersey City to hold the gala after they couldn’t find a venue in their own city due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Murphy said pictures and video showed that there was no social distancing or masks enforced at the event.

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“There is no obvious attempt to enforce social distancing or face masks, even though wearing masks indoors in New Jersey is mandatory at organized gatherings when individuals are not eating or drinking,” the governor said.

Murphy saved his harshest critique for Gaetz, the Florida congressman who was previously infected with COVID-19.

(credit: Twitter)

“That guy in the middle, the tall handsome fella in the gray suit, that is Rep. Matt Putz, sorry Matt Gaetz, and based on his past performances, it is obvious being a knucklehead is not beyond the pale for him,” Murphy said.

Murphy says Gaetz is not welcome back in the Garden State.

“What a fool. He and they should be ashamed of themselves,” Murphy said. “I hope you’re watching, Matt. You are not welcome in New Jersey and frankly, I don’t ever want you back in this state.”

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Gavin Mario Wax, the club’s president, tweeted the event was “held in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

“Any suggestion to the contrary and any legal threats are made in bad faith and politically motivated. As far as we are aware, the First Amendment has not been repealed,” Wax tweeted.

Jersey City authorities are investigating the incident.


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