The office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., said that Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., lied about her giving him encouragement at the State of the Union address earlier this week.
In an interview Thursday with the conservative network Newsmax, Santos relayed the story while discussing a combative exchange he had with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, earlier this week at President Biden’s address to Congress.
“Kyrsten Sinema, as she was walking by, the senator from Arizona, she said something to the effects of, ‘Hang in there, buddy’ or something like that. I said, ‘Thank you, madam senator.’ She was very polite, very kindhearted, as I’ve learned to see her. She’s a good person, unlike Mr. Romney, who thinks he’s above it all and is an almighty white horse trying to talk to us down on morality,” Santos said.
Regarding Santos’s story, a spokesperson for Sinema’s office told Yahoo News on Friday morning: “This is a lie.”
The denial concludes another long week for Santos, the serial fabulist elected to represent parts of Long Island, who has been revealed to have lied about everything from his academic and professional record to his religion and whether his mother was present at the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 attacks. Santos is also being investigated for potential campaign finance fraud and a service dog charity scheme.
The latest report of Santos’s alleged malfeasance came Thursday from Politico, which found he was charged with writing bad checks to dog breeders in Pennsylvania in 2017. The charges were later dropped after Santos claimed that the checkbook had been stolen, although he held an adoption event days later in Staten Island. The lawyer who represented Santos at the time told Politico that she now doesn’t believe his claims.
Earlier this week, Santos and Romney were seen having an exchange prior to Biden’s State of the Union address, where Romney told Santos, “You don’t belong here” on the floor of the chamber. Santos claimed he insulted Romney afterward; he tweeted late Tuesday at the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, stating Romney would “NEVER be PRESIDENT!”
“He shouldn’t have been there,” Romney told reporters after the speech when asked exactly what he had said. “Look, he’s a sick puppy. He shouldn’t have been there. I don’t think he ought to be in Congress, and he certainly shouldn’t be in the aisle trying to shake the hand of the president of the United States and dignitaries coming in. It’s an embarrassment.
“He says that he embellished his record. Look, embellishing is saying you get an A when you get an A-minus. Lying is saying you graduated from a college you didn’t even attend,” he said, adding that “they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out. If he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have taken a gentle hand with Santos so far, with the New York congressman serving as a steady vote for McCarthy in the days-long process of selecting a House speaker. Because of the party’s slim majority, McCarthy’s tenuous position leading the caucus would be weakened if Democrats won a special election to replace Santos following a vacancy.