After being hounded by reporters in the halls of Congress for days, embattled New York Rep. George Santos appeared to make light of the repeated calls for his resignation.
Video posted on Twitter Thursday, Jan. 12, shows ABC News reporter Lalee Ibssa confronting the freshman Republican lawmaker as he leaves his House office.
“Congressman, what’s your reaction to members of your own party calling for your resignation?” Ibssa is heard saying.
“Are you planning to resign?” another reporter asks him. “Will you resign if the voters (inaudible)?”
Santos is then seen getting into an elevator. As the doors close, he finally answers the crowd of reporters outside.
“If 142 people ask for me to resign, I’ll do that,” he says.
Santos later clarified to ABC News reporter Will Steakin that he meant to say “142,000 voters who voted for me” would have to ask for him to resign.
“The elevator cut that,” Santos told Steakin, even though video and audio clearly captured him saying “142 people.”
The scene came one day after Long Island Republicans demanded his “immediate resignation” after he admitted to lying about key parts of his background on the campaign trail, including his professional and educational backgrounds.
“He disgraced the House of Representatives,” Nassau County GOP Chair Joseph Cairo said at a press conference Wednesday, Jan. 11.
“He has no place in the Nassau County Republican Committee, nor should he serve in public service, nor as an elected official."
However, in a Tweet posted hours later, Santos made it clear that he has no intention of giving up his seat.
"I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians," 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.
Since then, House Democrats have filed a complaint against Santos with the House Ethics Committee, demanding an investigation into his financial disclosure reports.
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.
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