Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away
One of the most powerful Republicans in the House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), used her reputation and geographic proximity to help get fellow New York Republican George Santos elected to Congress. But now, as her donors and his express anger at being misled and lied to, and ahead of what appears to be a likely federal investigation and possible prosecution against the freshman GOP lawmaker, Stefanik is blaming voters for electing him to Congress: “Ultimately voters make this decision,” she said Tuesday.
Stefanik is the Chair of the House Republican Conference, a role she was first elected to when the now former Congresswoman, Liz Cheney, was thrown out of GOP leadership for telling the truth about the January 6 insurrection and Donald Trump. Stefanik was re-elected to her role after the November election.
Amid Santos announcing on Tuesday he is temporarily recusing himself from the two committees he was appointed to, Stefanik was asked if she regretted supporting his candidacy.
Indeed, one of the top reasons Santos was elected was Stefanik’s endorsement – and all the donor money that came with it.
READ MORE: 2024 Fundraising Fail: Trump Took in Less Money After Declaring Run for President Than Before
“Stefanik’s team was laser focused on electing Santos to Congress – more than just about any other race in the country,” a senior Republican strategist involved in campaigns before the midterms told CNN. “Another donor, who attended a fundraising luncheon with Stefanik and Santos, confirmed to CNN through a representative that ‘he donated to George Santos because of Elise Stefanik’s endorsement.'”
It wasn’t just her endorsements. It appears Stefanik took great interest in getting Santos elected. CNN also reported that a source “said that a top political aide for Stefanik was involved in campaigning for Santos. Multiple sources told CNN that aide was closely advising Santos’ campaign and involved in hiring people.”
Stefanik’s spokesperson denied the allegations.
In July, Santos tweeted that Stefanik “has been one of my strongest backers and closest friends. I fully stand with her vote today as she stood up for civil rights. I look forward to serving alongside her when I’m elected to Congress in November.”
In fact, this was the banner atop Santos’ Twitter account for a very long time, up until recently:
Here is Stefanik tweeting her “major announcement” – her endorsement of Santos – on August 11, 2001, more than a year before Election Day.
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“Excited to endorse my friend and fellow America First conservative George Santos for Congress in #NY03. @Santos4Congress will take on NYC liberal elites and bring a new generation of GOP leadership to NY and America. He has my full support!”
🚨🚨 MAJOR ENDORSEMENT ALERT 🚨🚨
Excited to endorse my friend and fellow America First conservative George Santos for Congress in #NY03.@Santos4Congress will take on NYC liberal elites and bring a new generation of GOP leadership to NY and America. He has my full support! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/vGTnWW1ROY
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 11, 2021
And in May of last year: “WOW! Great lunch event for @Santos4Congress! We raised over $100,000 to help George FLIP #NY03 George has my complete and total endorsement and come November, New Yorkers will send George to Congress! #SaveNewYork #SaveAmerica”
WOW! Great lunch event for @Santos4Congress!
We raised over $100,000 to help George FLIP #NY03 🔵➡️🔴
George has my complete and total endorsement and come November, New Yorkers will send George to Congress! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #SaveNewYork #SaveAmerica pic.twitter.com/NMiq0sBtzf
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 23, 2022
She literally told voters that electing George Santos to Congress will “Save New York” and “Save America.”
On Tuesday, Stefanik told voters something very different: it’s their fault they voted for him, she said, taking no responsibility for her endorsements.
“Like all of my colleagues, particularly in New York State, I supported George Santos as the nominee, and the people of his district voted to elect him,” she told reporters – not once mentioning there was no Republican primary and Santos automatically became the Republican party’s nominee.
READ MORE: Listen: Stefanik-Endorsed GOP Candidate Praised ‘Inspirational’ Adolf Hitler as ‘The Kind of Leader We Need Today’
“Ultimately voters make this decision about who they elect to Congress,” Stefanik declared, wholly removing herself, her endorsements, and any possible assistance she or her campaign may have given to Santos or his campaign.
.@RepStefanik on Rep. George Santos: “George has voluntarily removed himself from committees as he goes through this process, but ultimately voters decide.” pic.twitter.com/gfgezavDf9
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 31, 2023
See the tweets and video above or at this link.
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Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’
Donald Trump’s attorneys were notified Thursday afternoon a Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict him on felony charges related to his alleged hush money payoff of a porn star he reported slept with.
The ex-president’ attorney recently said if indicted Trump would travel to New York to turn himself in.
The Office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has just issued a strongly-worded statement saying it is “coordinating” with Trump’s attorneys for his “surrender.”
“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected,” the statement reads.
READ MORE: ‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond
The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery posted the statement to Twitter.
Breaking news: Manhattan DA is negotiating for Trump’s “surrender.” pic.twitter.com/9fFx7heiGA
— Jose Pagliery (@Jose_Pagliery) March 30, 2023
NBC News explains the process, noting he is expected to be arraigned next week.
“After the indictment, Trump will be arrested and taken into custody. He will likely have a mug shot and fingerprints taken,” NBC reports. “Trump will then appear in court to be arraigned, where he will hear charges and enter a plea. Two sources familiar with the situation told NBC News that the former president is likely to be arraigned next week. Trump will either be jailed or released while pre-trial hearings take place.”
Donald Trump Indicted by Manhattan Grand Jury on Felony Charges: NYT
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury investigating his role in a hush money payoff scheme that allegedly was designed to aid his election chances in 2016, according to multiple news reports.
“Mr. Trump will be the first former president to face criminal charges. The precise charges are not yet known, but the case is focused on a hush-money payment to a porn star during his 2016 campaign,” The New York Times was first to report. “The unprecedented case against Trump will have wide-ranging implications.”
CNN, citing sources, also reports Trump has been indicted.
Trump’s attorney, Susan Necheles, confirms to CBS News’ Graham Kates that the ex-president has been indicted.
Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’
‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Image via Shutterstock
New Poll Sends Trump Damning Message About 2024 if He’s Criminally Indicted
Biden Beats Trump – But Barely – in Latest Poll
A new Quinnipiac poll is offering damning news to Donald Trump: The majority of Americans think he should not even be allowed to run for president if criminal charges are filed against him.
That majority, 57%, includes nearly nine in ten Democrats (88%), more than half (55%) of independents, and even close to one-quarter (23%) of Republicans.
“Yes, say Americans, it was all about him and not the country’s well-being when Trump proclaimed he was targeted for arrest,” says Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy. “And, yes he should be forever banished from office if he is charged as a criminal.”
The poll serves up even more bad news for the ex-president. Despite the right’s attempts to paint Trump’s alleged hush money payoff as a mere bookkeeping issue, or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg‘s case against him, as one GOP lawmaker said recently, “wrongful persecution,” the majority of Americans – 55% – say the accusations against Trump are “serious.”
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Conservatives’ attempts to paint the investigation as political, however, appear to be working, at least among Republicans and independents.
More than nine out of ten Republicans (93%) and 70% of independents say they believe the investigation is motivated by politics, while two-thirds of Democrats (66%) say it is motived by the law.
Still more troubling news for the Trump team.
Exposing the growing partisan divide across the country, the majority of Americans, nearly six in ten (58%) say Trump has had a mainly negative impact on the Republican Party.
But inside the GOP, the view is far different.
The vast majority of Republicans (72%) say Trump has had a positive impact. Just 21% say he has had a negative impact. (The poll does not appear to take into account former Republicans who left the GOP because of Trump.)
READ MORE: Watch: House Dem Mocks Republicans by Thanking Them for Taking Time Away From ‘Trump’s Memorial Service to David Koresh’
Echoing the “positive impact” they believe Trump has had on their party, 79% of registered Republicans say they are supporters of his MAGA movement. The poll does not appear to define “support,” nor the various “levels” of support some Republicans now express, including “ultra MAGA.”
Meanwhile, when offered a choice between Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, or 11 other Republican candidates or potential candidates, Trump gets a plurality of voters: 47%. DeSantis gets one-third, 33%. Pence gets just 5%, and Haley – who has already officially declared she is running – gets even less, at 4%.
There’s little change when GOP voters are asked who they would choose in a head-to-head matchup between Trump and DeSantis. Trump gets 52%, DeSantis 42%.
And even more bad news for Team Trump: In a head-to-head matchup among registered voters, President Joe Biden would beat Donald Trump, although by a slim margin: 48% to 46%.
There is one piece of good news for the DeSantis campaign, which technically does not exist yet. DeSantis would beat Biden, also by a slim margin: 48% to 46%.
But some believe DeSantis will not run, especially given his poor campaign pre-launch. Others, like top Trump critic and former Republican George Conway, say DeSantis shouldn’t even bother.
“It makes no sense for DeSantis to run this cycle,” Conway said Thursday morning, unrelated to the Quinnipiac poll. “To beat Trump, DeSantis would have to go hammer and tong in a one-on-one race against him. DeSantis isn’t capable of that, it isn’t going to be one-on-one, and even if he were and it was, DeSantis would end up alienating a good chunk of the GOP base. And no matter what, Trump would try to destroy the GOP if it ever became clear he wouldn’t get the nomination. Trump would run as a third-party candidate to take the GOP nominee down. The smart play for DeSantis is to fleece donors by pretending to run, and pocket the cash for 2028, when he’ll still be only 49.”
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