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Romney goes after Santos in a tense discussion at the State of the Union


Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Representative George Santos (RN.Y.) exchanged harsh words on the House floor Tuesday night before the State of the Union began, with the Republican senator telling the freshman GOP legislator that he didn’t have to be in Congress.

As lawmakers and other guests entered the room ahead of President Biden’s speech, Romney and Santos were spotted having a brief but tense conversation. Romney glared at Santos, who smiled slightly, nodded, and seemed to dismiss Romney before continuing to greet others.

Romney later said he told Santos – who has admitted fabricating large parts of his biography and whose campaign finances are under investigation – that he didn’t belong there. Santos is under investigation by the bipartisan House Ethics Committee and resigned from commission duty last month.

“I didn’t expect him to be standing there shaking hands with every senator and the president of the United States,” Romney said. told reporters after Biden’s speech ended on Tuesday night, when he was asked why he confronted Santos.

“Given the fact that [Santos is] under ethical scrutiny, he should sit in the back row and keep quiet rather than parade in front of the president and people entering the room,” Romney added.

Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said after the State of the Union address on Feb. 7 that Representative George Santos (RN.Y.) “should not be in Congress.” (Video: Jessica Koscielniak/The Washington Post)

Romney said Santos’ claims that he had “embellished” his record were preposterous.

“Look, to embellish is to say you have an A when you have an A-minus. To lie is to say you graduated from a university you didn’t even go to,” Romney said. And he shouldn’t be in Congress. And they’re going to go through the process and hopefully they’ll get him out. But he shouldn’t be there and if he had any shame he wouldn’t be there.

Romney told reporters that Santos may have responded to him, but he didn’t hear it on the House floor. After the State of the Union ended, Santos lashed out at Romney on social media.

“Hey @MittRomney, just a reminder you will NEVER be PRESIDENT!” he posted on Twitter.

Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) later defended Santos, describing Romney’s words as “the rudest I have ever seen a human being to another human being.”

Romney, who was the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, was the only Republican to stand and applaud when Biden said Tuesday night that unemployment was at a 50-year low, and he joined Democrats in applauding at other points in Biden’s speech.

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