WASHINGTON — Two members of the Republican party are at odds after tense moments aton Tuesday.
Sen. Mitt Romney says he told Rep. George Santos, “You don’t belong here,” in an exchange in the House chamber before the president’s address.
Afterwards, Romney told reporters, “I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every senator and the President of the United States. Given the fact that he’s under ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet.”
Santos wasn’t happy with that exchange with Romney, tweeting, “Hey Mitt Romney, just a reminder that you will never be president.”
It happened just hours after a group of Santos’ constituents rode a bus to D.C. from Long Island and handed a petition to his staff calling for his removal from office.
“We are not comfortable with the lies, the deceit. We want a vote to expel,” a constituent told a staffer.
When asked whether he’d resign?
“I received 142,000 votes. I just received a petition with a little over 1,000 signatures on it. Answer… does the math add up?” Santos said.
When asked Tuesday if the House Ethics Committee is investigating Santos, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy replied yes. McCarthy later clarified his remarks and said that he meant Santos is the subject of Ethics Committee complaints.
The new Ethics Committee hasn’t officially organized yet.
“Ethics is moving through, and if Ethics finds something, we’ll take action,” McCarthy said.
If the Ethics Committee does find serious wrongdoing, it could lead to Santos’ expulsion from Congress.
He has denied doing anything illegal, but lies on his resume, questions over his campaign finances and, now, an allegation of sexual misconduct have led to growing criticism of Santos, including from fellow Republicans.
“As a Republican, George Santos certainly does not represent my party,” a constituent said.
We requested an interview with Santos earlier Tuesday, and a spokesperson said, “If the interview is about the investigation and not the State of the Union or his guest, then he is not available.”
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