Rep.-elect George Santos, a gay Republican from New York who drew widespread condemnation after admitting that he had lied about much of his professional and personal life on the campaign trail, arrived in Washington this week. While there is no indication that Santos received a warm welcome, no one seems to be more upset than New York’s other gay congressman: Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres.
“The House Republican chaos has a silver lining,” Torres tweeted Wednesday, referring to The difficulty of the Republicans to choose a speaker of the House. “George Santos has not been sworn in.”
The tweet was one of at least three dozen jabs Torres has taken against Santos since the lying allegations surfaced last month.
On December 19, The New York Times published a bomb investigation questioning whether Santos fabricated much of his biography, including his education, employment history, and financial transactions. The report, along with Santos’s eventual admission to “embellishing” his resume, prompted Democratic lawmakers and at least one Republican to call for his resignation, and federal, state and local authorities announced they were investigating or “investigating” the congressman. elect.
But amid the chorus of criticism, it seems no one has condemned — or trolled — Santos for the political scandal more than Torres, the representative from New York’s 15th Congressional District.
“Elise Stefanik said that the House Republican Conference is the most diverse in history. Does Stefanik have George Santos in mind? towers tweeted Tuesday. “A Biracial, Afro-Latino, Gay Brazilian, Belgian, Ukrainian Jewish Republican Conference.” (Stefanik, a congresswoman from New York, is the third-ranking Republican in the House.)
The tweet was a reference to several biographical claims Santos made during the election campaign that have since been disputed. including that her grandparents were Ukrainian Jewish refugees who fled the Holocaust.
In other cheep Last week, Torres posted a screenshot of an invitation Santos sent to his supporters, inviting them to celebrate his swearing in in Congress. The date on the invitation was incorrectly marked as January 3 of last year.
“Santos affirms that his swearing in is on January 3, 2022”, Torres tweeted. “You can’t even get the facts right even when you’re not lying.”
And on Tuesday, Torres tweeted a photo of the sign with Santos’s name outside his office and sarcastically wrote: “I am writing to report an act of vandalism.”
Since taking office in 2021, Torres has frequently used social media to forcefully punish those he opposes, including Republican leaders, rapper Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and the billionaire Elon Musk. But it seems no one has gotten on his nerves more than his gay Republican counterpart.
In all, Torres has tweeted about the Santos controversy more than three dozen times since the Times published its investigation less than three weeks ago. In the past week, he has also appeared on cable and local news programs at least four times to denounce Santos.
“He’s a pathological liar who can’t be trusted to serve the same audience he defrauded,” Torres told MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Monday.
Representatives for Torres and Santos did not respond to NBC News’ requests for comment.
Both men are in their 30s and among the youngest members (or future members) of Congress. Torres represents parts of the Bronx and Santos represents parts of Queens. And each of them has made LGBTQ political history: in November, Santos became the first non-incumbent LGBTQ Republican elected to Congress, and two years ago, Torres became the first gay Afro-Latinx elected to Congress.
Torres was raised by a single mother in a small apartment in a public housing complex in the Bronx, which he previously told NBC News had mold, leaks, lead and irregular heating. As a young adult, he said, he dropped out of college due to depression, substance abuse and grief over the death of his close friend, before becoming involved in local politics.
“No one has given me anything on a silver platter,” he previously told NBC News. “I have had to fight for everything I have in my life.”
Torres is now taking his fighting spirit directly to Santos, whom he has accused of defrauding the voters he will soon represent.
“He has consistently lied about almost every aspect of his life: his family heritage, his educational background, his employment history and his ties to historical events like the Holocaust or the Pulse nightclub massacre,” Torres told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart on Friday. last week. “We have to send the message that if he defrauds the voters, he will be held accountable, even prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to Santos’ campaign website, which has since been redacted, Santos graduated from Baruch College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance, but the Times and NBC New York confirmed with Baruch officials that they could find no records of his attendance. Santos also claimed to work for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, but representatives for the firms told The Times they had no record of his employment.
After tweeting a statement from his lawyer on December 19, which accused The Times of “trying to tarnish his good name” with “defamatory allegations,” Santos later admitted that he did not graduate from Baruch or work for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup. .
Federal prosecutors in New York opened an investigation into Santos last month, two law enforcement sources confirmed with NBC News last week. A spokesman for the US Attorney for Eastern New York previously declined to comment to NBC News about the investigation, but the two sources confirmed that prosecutors are looking into Santos’s financial disclosures and whether donations he made to his campaign violated laws. campaign finance.
The New York attorney general’s office also said it is “investigating a series of problemssurrounding Santos but did not confirm whether an official investigation had been launched. Simultaneously, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office has also confirmed that it has opened an investigation into Santos.
Torres himself has proposed ways to hold Santos and other lawmakers accountable.
On Thursday, he introduced the Stop Another Non-Truthful Office Seeker Act, or the “SANTOS” Act, which would require candidates to disclose under oath their employment, educational and military history.