A bizzare new saga has opened up in the seemingly unending spiral that has become George Santos’s arrival on Capitol Hill after a reporter published leaked audio from the congressman’s office on Thurdsay evening.
The audio, obtained and published by Talking Points Memo, was reportedly recorded in the congressional office of Mr Santos without the congressman or his staff’s permission. In the clip, the reporter (Derek Myers) is informed that his potential position with the Santos office will not be moving forward following a review of his background, and in particular a legal case that arose from the course of his reporting.
In it, Mr Santos makes some of the most self-aware comments about the scope of his deceptions that he has made in any setting so far.
“I’ve obviously f***ed up and lied to him, like I lied to everyone else,” Mr Santos says in the clip, while referring to his chief of staff Charley Lovett.
Of Mr Lovett, he added: “I trust his judgment more than my own judgment.”
There’s little in the audio itself that would raise any eyebrows, other than admissions from Mr Myers himself that he took a break from coverage of a murder trial to fly to Columbia for cheap botox treatments, and Mr Santos’s suggestion that he stop doing that.
The congressman even suggests that he will be extra careful with the hiring of his staff, given the extent of his own media scrutiny.
“[I]t’s bad enough that I have to answer for myself these days, I don’t want to have to answer, prospectively, for you,” he told Mr Myers.
But moreso, the audio’s existence raises the question of why Mr Santos would go through a hiring process with someone who is known to work in the news industry, and who is facing a legal battle over publication of other leaked audio from a courtroom that Mr Myers claims was provided to him by a source.
In fact, it was that very legal battle that Mr Santos raised during the recorded conversation as the eventual reason for him not being hired.
Mr Santos stepped down from his two committee assignments this week after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met with him on Tuesday; the Republican leader had been under immense pressure to explain why he was treating a member with such a long record of lies and scandals like an average member of Congress.