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Top Republicans in Nassau County, New York, called on GOP Rep. George Santos to immediately resign Wednesday for fabricating major details of his resume, blasting the freshman lawmaker for running a “campaign of deceit and lies.”
“He’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople,” Nassau County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Cairo said of Santos at a press conference.
Cairo’s searing remarks were the first in a parade of more than a dozen Republican officials from Santos’ area, each of whom excoriated Santos’ lies and urged him to step down.
“He’s a national joke, he’s an international joke, but this joke’s gotta go,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin.
The latest blow to Santos came as the embattled freshman congressman, who was sworn into office early Saturday morning, has admitted making up key elements of his personal life, and is now under scrutiny by federal and local lawmakers.
Nassau County Republican officials holding a press conference at their headquarters regarding Rep. George Santos.
Brian Schwartz | CNBC
Santos has been caught embellishing and, at times, outright lying, about his past, including his claims that he worked on Wall Street.
Santos has apologized to anyone “disappointed by resume embellishments,” but he vehemently denies committing any crimes.
Cairo has previously said that Santos has “broken the public trust by making serious misstatements regarding his background, experience and education, among other issues.” As a member of Congress, Santos represents parts of Queens and Nassau County, a region of Long Island in New York. House Republican leadership have been quiet regarding Santos since he’s been sworn into Congress.
“Obviously, he’s addressed some of the concerns that we’ve had. In New York, they’re having a lot of internal conversations too. But at the end of the day, you know, he was seated, nobody objected to him being seated,” House Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., told CNBC on Wednesday after being asked whether Santos will serve his full two-year term.
Santos has said that all he’s guilty of is embellishing his resume and has committed no crimes.
The lies and embellishments he told during the election have also led to scrutiny from prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York who are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and an over $700,000 loan Santos made to his campaign while he was running for Congress during the 2022 midterms, according to NBC News.
The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog, filed an ethics complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Santos on Monday for allegedly violating campaign finance laws. Santos told reporters that he’s done nothing unethical.
Santos’ fundraising efforts during his successful 2022 run was also based, in part, on some of the false claims he’s made about his past. He would suggest to donors that he was Jewish when he was not and falsely told people he worked at Wall Street banks that don’t have any record of his employment. A Santos campaign staffer impersonated as Kevin McCarthy’s chief of staff in order to raise money for the campaign, CNBC and The Washington Times reported.