George Santos fires back at Mitt Romney over SOTU snub: ‘Not very Mormon of him’

New York Republican has admitted to lying about virtually his entire background

John Bowden
Washington DC
Thursday 09 February 2023 12:21 GMT
George Santos appears to exchange tense words with Mitt Romney ahead of State of the Union

George Santos has responded to reporters after being confronted by Mitt Romney on the floor of the House Tuesday evening.

The New York Republican took offense to Mr Romney’s incensed remarks; the Utah senator told reporters after Joe Biden’s State of the Union address that he had told Mr Santos that he did not belong in Congress and should resign.

Calling Mr Santos an “a**”, the Utah senator and onetime presidential candidate told reporters that he informed Mr Santos that the latter did not belong in Congress, and should resign. Barring that, Mr Romney said, Mr Santos should not be seeking the cameras.

“Given the fact he’s under ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet, instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room,” Mr Romney said afterwards.

On Wednesday, Mr Santos insinuated that the incident was somehow a transgression against Mr Romney’s Mormon faith. Mr Santos is not a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

“I think it's reprehensible that the senator would say such a thing to me in the demeaning way he said,” Mr Santos told reporters in the Capitol.

“It wasn't very Mormon of him.”

Mr Romney’s harsh words to his Republican colleague Tuesday evening became one of the most talked-about moments after the president’s speech. The senator’s reaction is likely to put even more pressure on Kevin McCarthy to support the removal of Mr Santos from Congress, something a number of Republicans and Democrats are calling for.

The newly elected Republican speaker has declined to do so, possibly out of concern for his already tenuous grip over the lower chamber. The congressman meanwhile remains under several investigations, including one headed by the FBI.

Mr Santos has vowed to remain in office for two years even as he faces dwindling support within the GOP and a constant barrage of negative headlines regarding his false statements.

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