Romney Appears To Have Tense Exchange With George Santos At Biden’s State Of The Union Address

[Screenshot/YouTube/Eyewitness News ABC 7 NY]

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Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney appeared to have a tense exchange with Republican New York Rep. George Santos as he made his way into the chamber for the State of the Union Address, reportedly telling the embattled freshman, “You don’t belong here.”

Santos, 34, is facing multiple House Ethics Committee investigations over lies about his past and campaign finance issues. He is also reportedly under FBI investigation for an alleged charity scheme involving a U.S. Navy veteran’s dog.

In one video exchange shared on Twitter, Romney appears to tell Santos “I’d be embarrassed” multiple times as Santos moved to shake hands with President Joe Biden and members of the Senate. A witness to the exchange reported to CNN that Romney also told the New York representative, “You don’t belong here,” a statement Romney appeared to confirm to reporters as he exited the chamber after the speech.

“I didn’t expect he’d be standing there trying to shake hands with every senator and the President of the United States,” Romney told reporters, citing the ethics investigation. “He should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room,” he added.

Romney went on to argue that, although Santos admits to embellishing his résumé, the freshman congressman’s deceptions, such as claiming to have graduated from a university he never attended, go beyond mere embellishment.

“He shouldn’t be in Congress. And they’re gonna go through the process and hopefully get him out. But he shouldn’t be there and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there,” Romney stated. (RELATED: ‘Deceit, Lies And Fabrications’: Long Island Republicans Urge Rep. George Santos To Resign)

While Romney insisted he didn’t hear what Santos said to him in return, Santos shared his exchange with the Utah Senator with Semafor journalist Kadia Goba, who posted it on Twitter.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has yet to call on the GOP freshman to resign, but assured CNN Tuesday that he would take action pending the ethics investigation. “[The] Ethics [Committee] is moving through, and if Ethics finds something, we’ll take action. Right now, we’re not allowing him to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen,” McCarthy stated.