Another one of admitted résumé fabricator Congress Member-elect George Santos’ (Queens, Nassau County) Republican colleagues seemed to come out against him Wednesday, as Congress Member-elect Nicole Malliotakis (Staten Island, Brooklyn) said in a TV interview that she wouldn’t trust him after the revelations about his lies.
Malliotakis made the remarks while taking questions from a NY1 reporter during a short TV spot Wednesday night. The reporter — the station’s Washington Correspondent, Kevin Frey — asked the second term New York Congress member: “Would you trust him (Santos)?” To which she simply replied, “no.”
Malliotakis said a pervasive lack of trust in Santos among his colleagues, means that he’s going to have a rough go of it in Congress for the next two years, should he last that long.
“I think It’s going to be very difficult for him to move forward,” Malliotakis said. “I think it’s going to be very difficult for him to govern and work with others. And his colleagues can’t trust him. And I think it’s a major issue.”
According to a tweet from Frey, Malliotakis wouldn’t weigh-in on whether or not Santos should resign, saying “that’s between him and his constituents.” But if the local and federal investigations into Santos do end up uncovering criminal activity, “that’s a different matter.”
On the question of whether Santos should get committee assignments, Malliotakis said he should, provided he serves as a Member of Congress. Santos said late last year, before his many fabrications were exposed, that he wanted to join either the House Financial Services or Foreign Affairs Committees.
A spokesperson for Malliotakis didn’t respond to further questions from amNewYork Metro on whether there should be a House Ethics Committee investigation into Santos and whether she feels he’s someone she could still work with.
Malliotakis has now joined some of her fellow New York Republicans in coming out against Santos. Congress Member-elect Nick LaLota (Suffolk County) last week called for a House ethics investigation into Santos and his fellow newly elected colleague Anthony D’Esposito (Nassau County) said Santos must show a “spirit of sincerity.”
“Neighbors across Long Island are deeply hurt and rightly offended by the lies and misstatements made by Congressman-elect George Santos. His fabrications regarding the Holocaust and his family’s history are particularly hurtful,” D’Esposito said in a statement, as reported by the Long Island Press.
Over the past 2 1/2 weeks, numerous news reports have revealed that Santos played fast and loose with the truth when presenting his biography during his successful bid to represent New York’s Third Congressional District last year. His falsehoods included that he graduated from Baruch college, worked for prestigious financial firms like Goldman Sachs, has a Jewish background and has great personal wealth that he amassed through his fictitious success in finance.
Santos’ wealth, which made up a sizable chunk of his campaign war chest, in particular has been the subject of intense scrutiny. Particularly, the $750,000 yearly salary he reported earning from his company, the Devolder Organization, which he didn’t list any clients or public assets for.
During his first day in Congress, Tuesday, Santos was hounded by reporters, whom he refused to answer most questions from, and mostly sat alone on the House floor during roll call votes to elect the chamber’s next speaker. Santos has consistently supported Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) for speaker, but McCarthy has been unable to secure the 218 vote majority needed to win the top job after six successive votes.
On Wednesday, Santos continued to dodge the press and reportedly stayed mostly off the House floor, only popping in to cast his votes for McCarthy.
Thursday, the House again convened just after noon to try yet again to elect a speaker — and once more, McCarthy appears poised to come up short of the majority needed to clinch the office.
McCarthy, along with the rest of Republican leadership, has been mostly silent on Santos, as McCarthy can’t afford to lose a single supporter in the House, where Republicans hold a razor-thin majority.
Once the voting is done though, GOP political consultant William O’Reilly said House Republicans should immediately launch an ethics probe into Santos’ conduct.
“Frankly, the GOP owes him nothing whatsoever,” O’Reilly told amNewYork Metro on Tuesday. “I mean, this guy embarrassed the party, he embarrassed himself. And once the vote is over for the leadership, he should go right into an ethics probe because he really doesn’t deserve to be in that office.”