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Monday, December 09, 2019

Some Republicans Distancing From George Santos As His Lies Metastasize

@LauraClawson

George Santos

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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:

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.

Walsh’s discoveries include broad strokes like the campaign spending more on fundraising than advertising and specific eyebrow-raising expenditures like these:

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.

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.

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy
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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suggested in a weekend interview that it is “unfortunate” that lying Republican lawmaker Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has less power than President Joe Biden.

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This is the first of what is sure to be way too many campaign columns to come. If you’d like them to land in your email inbox every time I write one, please buy a subscription.

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