Rep. George Santos, the New York Republican whose various deceptions have landed him in hot water with colleagues and the Justice Department, remained defiant during a three-hour-long appearance on a live audio program Friday.
“You want to expel me? I’ll wear it like a badge of honor,” he declared, adding: “I’ll be the only one expelled because people did not like me.”
Santos spoke with conservative host Monica Matthews on X Spaces, formerly known as Twitter Spaces, around two weeks after a damning House ethics report found that he spent thousands of campaign dollars on Botox and other luxuries for himself.
“I will defend myself to the end of time,” Santos said.
Even before he took the oath of office in January, Santos has been plagued by allegations ranging from the silly to serious. He previously admitted to lying about certain elements of his background, including claiming that he was Jewish and had worked for elite financial corporations. Federal prosecutors charging him with nearly two dozen criminal counts say he used campaign funds as his personal bank account; Santos pleaded not guilty.
While the embattled congressman survived an expulsion vote in early November, the ethics committee report seems to have now laid the groundwork for his ejection.
The Republican chairman of the House ethics committee, Rep. Michael Guest (Miss.), has already filed a resolution for his expulsion that will likely be put to a vote next week.
Santos initially lashed out at Guest, calling him a “pussy,” the report a “vacuous political hit piece,” and the committee “a fucking weaponization of who they don’t like.”
“It ain’t gonna be the dude from Mississippi that’s gonna kick me, a New Yorker, out of Congress,” Santos said, adding, “No offense to people from Mississippi.”
He also steadfastly refused to consider stepping down, saying, “I’m not going to resign. I haven’t been found guilty of anything.”
He repeatedly asserted that “it’s not over until I say it’s over.”
But Santos later acknowledged that he would probably be out of a job soon.
“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor because people are so quick to judge and ask and demand for political expediency,” he said.
“Have at it! It’s a badge of honor for me,” he said again.
Throughout the interview, which included an exchange with fellow Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.), Santos portrayed himself as a victim of cold political calculations. Pressed by Garcia to do “the right thing” and resign, Santos likened resignation to admitting guilt.
Instead, he framed his inevitable departure from Congress as his own choice.
“I’m not running for re-election because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites. It’s gross,” Santos said.
“I have colleagues who are more worried about getting drunk every night with the next lobbyists that they’re going to screw and pretend like none of us know what’s going on, and sell off the American people. Not show up to vote because they’re too hungover, or whatever the reason is,” he went on, without naming names.
Santos made other accusations against anonymous colleagues later in the interview, bizarrely lamenting about a decline in coverage of extramarital affairs.
“Ever since I’ve taken Congress, reporters don’t care to write about adultery anymore,” he said. “And trust me, there’s been plenty in this Congress, and nobody writes about it anymore because George Santos is here.”
If it does get covered, he said, it’s on an obscure blog or buried in the newspaper: “It’s not front page like it used to be.”
Regarding his fellow New York Republicans — a delegation that has helped lead the charge in expelling him — Santos compared them to high schoolers in a clique.
“I don’t care to be part of their boys’ club,” Santos said. He added: “In my delegation, there are maybe two members that I would go to bat for. The rest of them can go pound sand. … The other 23, they can go blow up for all I care.”