George Santos a ‘bludgeoning tool’ for Democrats, New York Republican says | George Santos

The New York congressman and fabulist George Santos has become a “bludgeoning tool” being used to damage Republicans in Congress, a fellow New York Republican said, as Santos continued to ignore calls from some within his party to resign.

“He is a bludgeoning tool the Democrats are using without regard for truth,” Marc Molinaro, who like Santos won election to the House last November, told Politico in an interview.

“They’re lying about us in relationship to him. And he’s caused us every day to have to respond to his very existence in the House of Representatives, instead of giving 100% of our time to the important issues that Americans and the people who sent us to Washington care about.”

Santos faces calls to quit from fellow New York Republicans and voters in his Queens and Long Island district.

Democrats reportedly plan to tie New York Republicans to Santos as they attempt to reverse losses in the state, including to Santos in the third district, which contributed to Republicans taking the House last November.

Another Republican New York freshman, Anthony Esposito, told Politico: “Every time we’re having a conversation we seem to be talking about George Santos.”

In fact, the flames of controversy around Santos have somewhat died down. January and February saw a cascade of revelations about his largely made-up résumé; his questionable business and charity affairs, some under another name; his claims about his family history and religious background; his clashes with Republican establishment figures; and even his alleged past as a drag queen in Brazil.

Santos has admitted embellishing his résumé but denied wrongdoing and insisted he will not stand down. He was recently confirmed to be under investigation by the House ethics committee, focusing on his campaign finance filings and an allegation of sexual misconduct from a former staffer.

But though Republican leaders including the House speaker, Kevin McCarthy, accepted Santos’s withdrawal from committee assignments, they have not called for him to resign.

Santos supported McCarthy through 15 votes for speaker, a role the Californian must now perform with a slim majority, prey to rightwing rebellion.

‘You ought to be embarrassed’: Mitt Romney exchanges heated words with George Santos – video

Another first-term New York Republican, Nick LaLota, told Politico donors wanted to hold Santos accountable or had been scared off. His constituents, LaLota said, “want answers to troubling questions about why [Santos] is still in Congress. They deserve those answers”.

Santos said: “The reality is simple: I was never a part of the little boys’ club, and they hated me from the moment I got the nomination to the moment I got elected.”

He also said he had not been convicted of any offenses or “punished or censured”.

Santos recently introduced his first bill, seeking to raise a cap on deductions under state and local property taxes, a reversal of measures imposed on New York under the last Republican president, Donald Trump.

Another first-term New York Republican, Anthony D’Esposito, has introduced a bill to prevent Santos profiting from book deals, speech payments and TV appearances.

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