Embattled Rep. George Santos won't accept key congressional committee assignments amid ongoing ethics and campaign finance-related investigations, the Republican told colleagues -- and his office confirmed -- Tuesday.
Santos was recently assigned seats on House science and small business committees, but told colleagues in a closed-door GOP conference meeting he won't accept those until the issues are resolved, two people in the room said.
It was not immediately clear whether he made the decision of his own accord, or if he was influenced or directed to revoke his committee assignments by other members of his conference.
A spokesperson said that "he has reserved to see it until he has been cleared up both campaign and personal financial investigations."
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In a statement, Santos said it was "a decision I take very seriously. The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare, without distraction." He also reiterated his stance that he won't step down and isn't considering tendering his resignation.
Santos allegedly spoke with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Monday night. McCarthy said on Tuesday that he "met with George Santos yesterday and I think it was the appropriate decision." McCarthy said that Santos asked to step away from the assignments.
In a new interview, Santos said that "people should be judged on their actions, and not by trial by fire through the media, which is what I've experienced for the last couple of weeks."
As for the falsehoods he shared regarding his education, Santos called it "a bad decision. poor judgment."
"I felt the need to do it because I thought that without the diploma, I'd be looked down on and less than the other people," Santos said of lying about his educational background, including saying he graduated from Baruch College and NYU.
He went on to say that "I don't think lying is excusable. ever, period...especially if you're legislating for the American people right now. So what I might have done during the campaign does not reflect what's been done in the office."
The developments come as a new poll shows even most of Santos' own constituents want him out of office entirely.
But perhaps most damningly - an overwhelming majority of those who actually cast ballots for Santos less than 90 days ago now say they would not have if they knew the truth.
In total, some 78% of registered voters in New York's 3rd District want Santos to resign, the Newsday/Siena College poll found. That includes 89% of Democrats, 72% of independents and 71% of his own Republican voters.
In fact, Siena pollsters sliced the respondents up 18 different ways, including by age, geography, religion and income -- and in every single one of the 18 demographic slices, at least 70% of those polled wanted Santos to quit.
Only 13% of those polled say Santos should not resign - and only 7% say they have an explicitly favorable view of the first-term congressman, whose list of admitted and accused lies and misdeeds has gotten longer by the day since last month.
Of those surveyed who acknowledged actually voting for Santos last November, 63% said they would not have if they knew then what they knew now about him.
The poll of 653 registered voters in the 3rd District was conducted Jan. 23-26 and had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.