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Tipsheet

Did George Santos Have the Last Laugh in Exchange With Mitt Romney?

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool

Not surprisingly, Rep. George Santos (R-NY) made news about his appearance during Tuesday's State of the Union even before anything actually happened. Something did actually happen, though, thanks to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), as Leah covered.

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Say what you will about Romney, but the guy has that nice Mormon stereotype going for him. That wasn't the case on Tuesday night, though, as he reportedly told Santos that he shouldn't even be there and even called him an "ass."

Santos tweeted a reminder that Romney won't be president. Republicans lost pretty big in 2012, too, with Romney as the nominee. 

The embattled congressman had even more of a comeback in that he told reporters that Romney's criticisms "wasn't very Mormon," as he again reminded people that he lost the presidency in 2012. 

Santos also denied he was there to shake President Joe Biden's hand, which others had claimed he was there to do. 

There's a lot of negative attention surrounding Santos, to be sure. Earlier in the day before the address it was confirmed that Santos is indeed under investigation from the House Ethics Committee, which came a week after it was reported that he willingly stepped back from committee assignments. 

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With enough problems that Santos already has, one would think Romney might avoid giving Santos any ammunition against him, such as pointing out how he indeed "wasn't very Mormon" and lost to Obama in 2012. 

Romney is not doing that, though. He's even getting into it with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) it looks like when it comes to how the speaker has not called on Santos to resign, as other members have, including fellow Republicans and fellow New Yorkers. A majority of constituents in Santos' New York's 3rd Congressional District also want Santos to resign. 

The speaker responded to Romney's lamentations in the same way that he's responded to the press taking issue with him not calling on Santos to resign, by asking why embattled Democratic members, like Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), get more of a free pass. "Romney should be disappointed that Swalwell hasn’t resigned," McCarthy said. Late last month he officially blocked Swalwell, along with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), from serving on the House Intelligence Committee. Last week the House also voted to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 

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When confirming to the press on Tuesday that Santos is under investigation, McCarthy was also asked about calling on Santos to resign then. He seemed to have signaled he may do so if the committee investigation turns up anything. "Ethics is moving through, and if Ethics finds something, we’ll take action," he said. 

While McCarthy said he doesn't have a problem with Santos attending a briefing on the Chinese spy balloon that Americans just learned of last week, Santos apparently doesn't even know there is a briefing. 

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