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McCarthy says he ‘had a few questions’ about Santos’ resume

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) continues to face calls to step down from office after allegations of lying about large parts of his personal and work background during his run for office.

But now, a new report from the New York Times has brought into question how much Republicans knew about Santos beforehand, and how many Republicans just looked the other way.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) endorsed Santos as he ran for the House of Representatives. He spoke with reporters on Monday, answering questions about what he exactly knew about Santos — including how a Santos campaign member impersonated McCarthy’s chief of staff.

“I never knew about his resume but I always had a few questions about it,” McCarthy told reporters. He also said he “unfortunately” didn’t know about the impersonation until a later date.

So far, Santos has admitted to lying about his work experience, heritage and his education, but McCarthy continues to downplay the controversy and has refused to kick Santos from the House.

Santos voted for McCarthy on all 15 ballots for House speaker, and with the Republican House majority a little tight, it is unknown if Republicans could hold the seat if Santos was booted.

In response to all of this, two House Democrats from New York called on House Republican leaders to disclose how much they actually knew about Santos as he ran for office.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y) posted on Twitter announcing his partnership with Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) to address the issue, saying, “The public has a right to know what House Republican leaders knew about Mr. Santos.”

Torres attached the letter they sent to McCarthy and others to the tweet. The letter addressed Santos’ lies and demanded transparency from House Republican leadership about “Mr. Santos’s web of lies.”

The letter concluded with, “The American people deserve nothing less than the complete truth.”

Just last week, the two Democrats filed a complaint against Santos with the House Ethics Committee.

Torres and Goldman also introduced the SANTOS Act last week. If passed, the bill would require candidates to disclose personal information while running for Congress. If fabrications or lies later get discovered, the candidate would face financial penalties. 

Earlier this week, Santos received more calls from fellow lawmakers to step down.

The Nassau County Republican Party, of which Santos is a member, has also called on him to resign. As have a number of New York Republicans in Congress.

Some, however, including McCarthy, said Santos was duly elected by voters in his district and they deserve representation.