Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) got into a heated exchange with Rep. George Santos (R-NY) in the House Chamber.
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The failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate told the New York representative who is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee “you don’t belong here,” according to Santos.
Santos recalled the tense exchange to Kadia Goba, a political reporter for Semafor.
“Go tell that to the 142,000 that voted for me,” Santos told Romney.
“You’re an ass,” Romney allegedly responded.
“You’re a much bigger asshole,” Santos said.
After the speech, Romney again criticized Santos to reporters for standing in the front aisle “trying to shake hands” with the president and senators “given the fact that he’s under ethics investigation.”
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“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,” he said, noting that Santos may have responded to his remark, but he “didn’t hear.”
The bitter exchange comes amidst reports Santos is facing multiple investigations over his finances and repeated lies about his resume and biography. Lies include the schools he attended, his employment history, and his family background. Complaints with the Federal Election Commission have questioned whether he is a true source of more than $700,000 in loans he said he made to his 2022 campaign.
Even though Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has not asked Santos to resign, the House Ethics Committee will investigate the Congressman. Santos also has stepped down from his committee assignments.
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Romney said he’s disappointed McCarthy hasn’t called on Santos to resign.
“He says he, you know, that he embellished his record. Look, embellishing is saying you got an A when you got an A-,” the senator said. “Lying is saying you graduated from a college that you didn’t even attend, and he shouldn’t be in Congress.”
“And they’re gonna go through the process and hopefully get him out. .. But he shouldn’t be there, and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”
Santos snapped back at the Senator from Twitter in a Tweet, saying, “Hey @MittRomney, just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT!”
Hey @MittRomney just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT! https://t.co/ANxiQPxAua— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) February 8, 2023