SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney continued to express disdain with U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) while speaking with reporters in Washington on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Santos was indicted on 13 federal charges including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and false statements to the House of Representatives. Santos pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $500,000 bond.
Sen. Romney spoke with reporters following the indictment saying that he believes Santos should have resigned a long time ago.
“He is an embarrassment to our party and he is an embarrassment to the United States Congress,” said Romney. “Apparently, the wheels of justice do grind slow but they grind fine as well. He will get his day in court, but clearly, his misrepresentations have so embarrassed him and our nation that he really should not be in Congress.”
When asked if Romney believes that House Majority Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) should force Santos to resign, Romney firmly replied that Santos should resign on his own.
Sen. Romney has long been critical of Santos. In February, Romney told Santos he shouldn’t have attended President Biden’s State of the Union address. Moreso, Romney told Santos he should not have positioned himself near the center of the House aisle to shake hands.
After the on-camera encounter with Santos at the State of the Union address, Romney called Santos “a sick puppy.”
“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,” Romney told reporters after the address.
On Wednesday, Santos told reporters he plans to defend himself throughout his trial and he has no desire not to comply with what he called a “witch hunt.”
Despite calls from Romney, Rep. Santos said he has no intention of resigning his position in the House of Representatives and even plans to run for re-election in New York at the end of his term.
“I’ve asked many times, I want to be judged by the work I do in the body and I remain committed to that,” said Santos.
Speaker McCarthy told reporters that Santos will “go through” his time on trial and that he will be watching for the outcome, but did not commit to forcing Santos to resign.