Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told GOP Rep. George Santos of New York: “You don’t belong here,” according to a member who witnessed the tense exchange in the House of Representatives chamber Tuesday night.
Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, made the remarks as he walked into the chamber for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
Santos faces multiple investigations over his finances and repeated lies about his resume and biography. In November, he flipped a Democratic seat in a redrawn district, helping Republicans seize a narrow majority in the House.
Santos, 34, has been caught lying about the schools he attended, his employment history and 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.
Federal investigators are examining his finances, including allegations that Santos took $3,000 from a veteran’s dying dog’s GoFundMe campaign.
The New York freshman is expected to face an investigation from the House Ethics Committee. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has so far not called on Santos to resign, even as some of his fellow New York Republicans have called on him to step down. Santos has voluntarily stepped down from two House committees even though McCarthy and his allies initially awarded him the spots.
On Tuesday, Santos told CNN he is “not concerned” about the House ethics probe or about New York constituents calling on him to resign.