House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Monday that he “always had a few questions” about the resumé of freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
McCarthy made the revelation during an interview Monday on CNN.
A week ago, when Republican leaders in Nassau County, NY, home to the state’s 3rd Congressional district which Santos represents, called for him to resign over his numerous lies and fabrications about his personal and professional life, McCarthy declined to join in.
“I try to stick by the Constitution. The voters elected him to serve. If there is a concern, and he has to go through the Ethics [Committee], let him move through that,” the Speaker said this past Wednesday.
Among his public fabrications Santos, a self-described financier and businessman, has admitted lying about where he went to college and said he misspoke about working directly for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, who say they have no records of employing him.
Santos has also been accused of making a now-debunked claim that he had Jewish grandparents who migrated to Brazil to escape the Holocaust.
“I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish,’” Santos said in December.
But perhaps the most significant question that the Federal Election Commission has been asked to investigate–and which Santos has yet to adequately answer–is how he loaned his campaign $705,000 in 2022 after he reported only $55,000 in assets when he ran for Congress in 2020.
On Monday, McCarthy was also asked about a person who worked for Santos who allegedly impersonated McCarthy’s chief of staff to solicit campaign donations during his 2020 and 2022 campaigns.
“You know, I didn’t know about that. It happened, and I know they corrected it, but I was not notified about that until a later date,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy did not specify what “a later date” meant. However, he added that he had talked to Santos about the impersonation.
Monday’s comments by McCarthy followed CNN reporting citing an unnamed source that Dan Conston, president of the McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund PAC, had expressed concerns about Santos to lawmakers and donors.
Along with Nassau County’s GOP leadership, at least seven House Republicans have called on Santos to resign, but he has adamantly refused.
“I was elected by 142,000 people. Until those same 142,000 people tell me they don’t want me, we’ll find out in two years,” Santos said last week on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast.