Embattled Rep. George Santos grabbed a prime seat in the center aisle ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
That seat put him in a prime position to shake a few hands.
But he soon discovered that not everyone, including some Republicans, was interested in seeing him.
Republican Rep. George Santos of New York took a seat in the center aisle before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, putting him in a prime position to shake hands.
Sitting next to Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Santos soon discovered that not everyone, including some Republicans, was interested in seeing him.
As they began to enter the chamber around 8:30 p.m., several senators routinely shook hands with the scandal-plagued Long Island congressman, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader John Thune, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville and even a couple of Democrats: Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
But several senators were visibly uninterested, most notably Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.
Other dignitaries who passed by Santos also passed over him, even as they shook hands with Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, seated across from him. Among them was Vice President Kamala Harris.
Santos sat directly ahead of Republican Representative Tim Burchett of Tennessee and behind Representative Trent Kelly of Mississippi.
Aside from reserved leadership seats, seats in the House chamber are not assigned to members of Congress during the State of the Union address. Seats are reserved for Senators as a group at the front of the chamber and House members sit behind them. House members can claim favorite spots during the day, but must camp there to reserve them for the entire talk.
Many Republicans have spent the last month avoiding Santos, who is at the center of a media circus sparked by a myriad of lies about his resume and investigations into his campaign finances, and who has faced calls to resign as a member not only at all within his own party, but by the delegation of his home state.
Many who spoke to Insider’s Bryan Metzger recently made it clear they wanted nothing to do with Santos.
But, as Metzger noted, the congressman who initially sat alone during his early days in office eventually found a “receptive crowd” among right-wing House lawmakers.
Photos of Santos from the beginning of this session show him sitting between Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and fellow freshman Andy Ogles of Tennessee or with Representative Pat Fallon of Texas, who told Metzger that Santos looks like a “good lad”. It seems that Greene knew Santos at least since 2020.
During the fight for the House Speaker vote, Insider saw Santos hang out with Kevin McCarthy’s tormentors, Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
In recent weeks, Insider has seen Santos wandering the chamber during voting. Sometimes that involves standing alone along the back wall while members weigh up outstanding scores, while on at least one occasion she spent about 10 minutes chatting with fellow freshman GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida.
Read the original article on Business Insider