Sen. Mitt Romney told disgraced Rep. George Santos he didn’t “belong” in the House chamber in a tense exchange ahead of Tuesday’s State of Union address.
Romney scolded the freshman lawmaker for taking a prime and highly-visible, center-aisle seat in the chamber as members of Congress piled in for President Biden’s speech.
“You don’t belong here,” the Utah Republican said to Santos, who had admitted to lying about parts of past and is facing several investigations into his campaign finances.
The pair apparently exchanged words, though Romney later said he didn’t hear it all.
“He shouldn’t be in Congress, and they are going to go through the process and hopefully get him out,” Romney told reporters of the New York representative after the address. “But he shouldn’t be there, and if he had any shame at all he wouldn’t be there.”
Santos, also a Republican, took to Twitter to fire back at Romney.
“Hey @MittRomney just a reminder that you will NEVER be PRESIDENT!” he tweeted at the 2021 presidential nominee.
Several other lawmakers members took issue with Santos’ seat choice as well, said a lawmaker who requested anonymity to speak freely about the widespread annoyance.
Santos, 34, stood in a spot next to the aisle where Biden and other prominent officials would walk down after they entered the House chamber.
“I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there, trying to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States,” Romney told reporters later.
Romney said that given the investigations, Santos “should be sitting the back row and staying quiet, instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room.”
Santos is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee after he admitted he fabricated info about his background, education, religion, and charitable work.
Federal, state and county investigators are also evaluating if he violated campaign finance law.
Despite calls to resign, Santos has vowed to stay in office until the next election in 2024.
With Post wires