Some Republicans Distancing From George Santos As His Lies Metastasize
Republican Rep.-elect George Santos is “not welcome” at Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) events anymore, the group said after Santos repeatedly lied to them about his supposed Jewish heritage. That’s just part of the fallout as Santos tried and failed to explain what’s not just a series of lies but seems to be an entire invented identity. But top House Republicans? They're silent, because with an extremely narrow majority, they’re not going to say or do anything to jeopardize a win in a slightly blue district. In particular, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy previously included Santos when bragging about the increase in Jewish Republicans in the House, but he still needs Santos’ vote for speaker.
The RJC has a lot of reason to be furious at Santos. He’s now saying he “never claimed to be Jewish.” Instead, “Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’” In reality, he told several American Jewish organizations, in writing, that he was “a proud American Jew.”
Speaking to the aforementioned RJC after the elections, he really leaned in:
\u201c"Shabbat Shalom. My name is George Santos." Lee Zeldin "really paved way for all of us in NY...Lee has served as inspiration, as friend & a leader for the Jewish folks in Congress...for all of us in this room, at one point being just 2 members. Now we're going to be 3"\n11/19/2022\u201d— Howard Mortman (@Howard Mortman) 1672145713
Santos also claimed his grandparents were Holocaust survivors, which is both gross and unambiguously a lie. No wonder the RJC is saying “He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage” and “will not be welcome at any future RJC event.”
This particular Santos lie is entirely debunked at this point. There are still big questions about some of the others, and the biggest one remains just how a guy whose claims about significant assets and personal wealth all turn out to be lies was able to lend his campaign up to $700,000. One possibility, raised by Democratic campaign operative Chris Walsh in a Twitter thread digging into Santos’ FEC filings, is that … he didn’t. That his official federal campaign filings are full of lies, too.
\u201c\ud83e\uddf5Being the person that I am (weird), I decided to my time off to dive into George Santos' FEC reports to get a better understanding of how he spent his $$$, especially the $700k that he "loaned the campaigned." Note I don't think he actually did. Here is what I found:\u201d— Chris Walsh (@Chris Walsh) 1672197287
Walsh’s discoveries include broad strokes like the campaign spending more on fundraising than advertising and specific eyebrow-raising expenditures like these:
\u201c286 Uber and 123 Delta transactions are just insane. The Ubers were in addition to several expenses for owning a car. Also, how many flights is that?!?! Again, moving on.\u201d— Chris Walsh (@Chris Walsh) 1672197287
If the FEC was worth a damn, it would be digging into this right now.
Here’s how bad Santos is at telling the truth or getting people to continue overlooking his lies: He made Tulsi Gabbard look good.
\u201c"These are blatant lies and it draws into question how your constituents and the American people can believe anything you may say on the floor of the House -- Tulsi Gabbard actually did an impressive job grilling George Santos, who was clearly flustered\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1672189276
The really special thing here, though, is that none of this is likely to matter a bit. It would take a lot of Republican votes to kick Santos out of the House, and they will not do that as long as they need him to maintain their majority.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.