Rep. Matt Gaetz got riled up over a technical glitch that caused text messages to be lost between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were a part of Robert Mueller's Russia probe.
The GOP lawmaker carelessly compared the debacle with a religious doctrine, and it didn't go by unnoticed.
Gaetz lambasted the bureau during a Fox News interview, calling the error "the greatest coincidence since the Immaculate Conception." But CNN's Chris Cuomo demanded to know what Gaetz meant in a CNN interview.
"What are you talking about?" Cuomo asked. Gaetz avoided a direct response by attempting to waylay his host with the mention of Lisa Page's involvement in a "secret society" meeting within the FBI. But Cuomo dismissed that unsubstantiated claim and asked, "What do you think happened with the Immaculate Conception?"
"Look, I was making a point that this is an absurd coincidence," Gaetz offered, but he wasn't let off the hook.
Cuomo persisted, "Where's the analogy. I don't understand."
The CNN host humored Gaetz with a quiz, "What do you think happened with the Immaculate Conception?" After an uncomfortably long pause, Gaetz stammered:
The Immaculate conception, it's obviously a religious doctrine that deals with the Christian faith. Look, did you really bring me on to discuss my religious views, Chris? I'm a Christian. I believe that the Immaculate Conception was how Jesus was born.
Try again. Giphy
As Cuomo suspected, his guest couldn't support the analogy. Gaetz was in for a schooling he was not prepared for, but clearly needed. Cuomo launched into a well-articulated explanation on how the Immaculate Conception was not how Jesus was born.
"It was Mary's conception. It was the mother's conception without original sin. It was not the conception of Jesus," said Cuomo to a quiet Gaetz.
Facts matter, Congressman. If you're going to make an analogy, at least know what you're talking about because you've got to have a basis for these things. You only know what you show. You've got to release that memo. It's got to have the facts and you better figure out what this secret society is before you say there's a shadow organization within the FBI.
End of discussion. Giphy
Twitter weighed in on the exchange.
Was Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) implying that the immaculate conception was a cover story for a pregnancy? https://t.co/ha01Hq9HOh— Lindsay Beyerstein (@Lindsay Beyerstein) 1516855211.0
@crooksandliars @RepMattGaetz Head of the Florida clown college association.— Shoe (@Shoe) 1516895738.0
@CharlesPPierce @ChrisCuomo That was a joy to behold.— Barely on the Bird App (@Barely on the Bird App) 1516888779.0
Class is in session. What else could Gaetz enlightened by?
@CharlesPPierce @ChrisCuomo Lost in his ignorance of the Immaculate Conception is the very real possibility that he… https://t.co/9Z0ACS8ASJ— Joe McCarthy (@Joe McCarthy) 1516900104.0
You don't have to dig much for writing parodies.
Oof! #SNL doesn’t even have to make up skits. They can just take them verbatim from tv. @ChrisCuomo (unlike me) wa… https://t.co/DoDAH4EeUG— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@Ana Navarro-Cárdenas) 1516852518.0
Gaetz confused the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary free from original sin with the Virgin Birth of Jesus, as mentioned in the Doctrine of Incarnation. Although it's a commonly mistaken assertion, Cuomo made sure Gaetz understood the distinction and that it has nothing to do with the missing text messages.
Class is dismissed!