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George Santos’ wall of GOP support starts to show serious cracks

The Republican Party's unified support for Rep.-elect George Santos has suddenly become a lot less unified.


Rep.-elect George Santos seems to realize that he’s facing a serious problem. The New York Republican lied about much of his biography, got caught, and is struggling to deal with the fallout.

After letting the fire rage for several days, the incoming congressman’s new plan is to grudgingly concede that he deceived the public, though he’s using words like “embellishments” instead of “lies.” For Santos’ many Democratic critics, his newfound willingness to acknowledge reality — or at least some of it — clearly isn’t enough.

But what about his ostensible GOP allies, some of whom reportedly knew about his fraudulent claims before Election Day? At this point, House Republican leaders, who desperately need Santos’ vote, are choosing to say effectively nothing. But as of yesterday afternoon, his wall of partisan support was starting to show significant cracks. Roll Call reported:

Rep.-elect Nick LaLota, a Republican set to be sworn in next week, on Tuesday called for an ethics investigation into his fellow New Yorker George Santos, who admitted to embellishing parts of his résumé.

“Over the last few weeks I have heard from countless Long Islanders how deeply troubled they are by the headlines surrounding George Santos,” LaLota said in a written statement. “As a Navy man who campaigned on restoring accountability and integrity to our government, I believe a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee and, if necessary, law enforcement, is required.”

LaLota wasn’t alone. The Republican Jewish Coalition, which tends to be allied with party leaders, also issued a written statement yesterday explaining that Santos directly “deceived” the organization about his faith.

Soon after, Santos appeared on Fox News, probably expecting a friendly interview, only to be skewered by former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who was filling in for Tucker Carlson.

“A lie is not an embellishment on a résumé,” Gabbard explained as part of the interview. “These are blatant lies, and it calls into question how your constituents and the American people can believe anything that you may say when you are standing on the floor of the House of Representatives.”

When Santos tried to cast the discussion as a “debate” about his background, the guest host asked: “Is it debatable, or is it just false?”

When Gabbard asked Santos if he has any shame, he tried to change the subject by complaining about Democrats.

Taken together, the New Yorker probably took note that his party’s unified support has become a lot less unified.

As for the near future, if Santos really wants to put things right, he can at least try to answer some lingering questions:

How did he get so wealthy so quickly?

Did he lie in his financial disclosure report filed with the clerk of the U.S. House?

Is he a suspected criminal in Brazil?

Santos’ team has described him as an “immigrant” and a “first-generation American.” Which is accurate?

If the Republican is trying to come clean, why is he still saying that he “never claimed to be Jewish,” despite all kinds of documented instances in which he unambiguously claimed to be Jewish?