This story has been updated.
Embattled New York Rep. George Santos is refusing to step down despite calls from state Republicans to do so after the newly sworn-in Congressman admitted to lying about key parts of his background on the campaign trail.
Speaking at a press conference on Long Island Wednesday, Jan. 11, Nassau County GOP Chair Joseph Cairo demanded the freshman lawmaker’s “immediate resignation,” saying Santos used “deceit, lies, and fabrications” to convince voters to back his campaign.
“He disgraced the House of Representatives,” Cairo said. “He has no place in the Nassau County Republican Committee, nor should he serve in public service, nor as an elected official.
"He’s not welcome here at Republican headquarters…and we do not consider him one of our Congress people.”
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman also addressed reporters, calling Santos “a stain” on the community. He added that his office will have no interaction with Santos going forward.
However, in a Tweet posted hours later, Santos made it clear that he has no intentions of giving up his seat.
"I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicans," he said.
"I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living. I will NOT resign!"
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Santos, who is now the subject of local, state, federal, and international investigations, should not be seated on any top committees, but stopped short of calling for his resignation, NBC News reports.
Santos was officially sworn into office on Saturday, Jan. 7, representing the state’s 3rd District on Long Island’s North Shore and parts of Queens.
He has faced repeated demands for his resignation following a bombshell New York Times report that accused him of lying about his professional and educational background, and his Jewish ancestry.
He later admitted to the New York Post that he “embellished” his resume, but has denied any criminal wrongdoing.
Wednesday’s press conference came one day after two House Democrats filed a complaint against Santos with the House Ethics Committee, demanding an investigation into his financial disclosure reports, according to CNN.
A nonprofit group has also filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), accusing Santos of illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses and concealing the sources of his campaign donations.
Born to Brazilian immigrants in Jackson Heights, Queens, Santos made history as the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican and the first Brazilian-American elected to Congress.
His Democratic opponent in the midterm elections, Robert Zimmerman, has since called on Santos to resign and face an election do-over.
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