Well here’s a real head-scratcher: As of Friday, Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) are both accusing each other of lying, and I have no idea which of these two distinctly unhinged Congress members I believe.
According to Santos speaking to Newsmax on Thursday, after the State of the Union address on Tuesday, “as [Sinema] was walking by, she said something to the effect of, ‘Hang in there, buddy,’ or something like that,” to Santos. Santos claims he responded, “Thank you, Madam Senator.”
But early Friday, Sinema’s team promptly shut that shit down. “I can confirm that it did not happen,” the senator’s communications director told HuffPost in an email. Sinema’s office appears to have sent the same message to CNN.
The question here, aside from which of these members of Congress to believe, is whether it would actually be funnier if the exchange did happen or didn’t. The noted worst (or at least most annoyingly dressed) senator doesn’t exactly have high standards for whom she chooses to associate with—she certainly spends a lot of time with private equity lobbyists, publicly dined with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last week, and has previously, bizarrely flaunted her friendship with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a man who tanked his chance at the presidency in 2012 by strapping the family dog to the top of his car on a road trip. Now that I think of it, that might be her issue with Santos parading about her favor—Romney and Sinema are, for whatever reason, besties, and the Utah senator has made very clear his feelings about Santos, declaring this week that “if [Santos] had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”
Santos, again, has a very storied history of conceiving of perhaps the most random lies I’ve ever heard—that he appeared in Hannah Montana, that his mother died in the 9/11 attacks, that he produced Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, that he’s Jewish, etc.—and that’s clearly a point in Sinema’s favor as far as this nail-biter of a he-said-she-said goes. But Sinema is also something of an oddball herself, and in her obsession with bipartisan contrarianism, I could very easily see her spouting out a quick word of affirmation to Santos in passing, only to walk it back after seeing it made public.
There’s a short clip of Santos appearing to exchange words with Sinema shortly after the SOTU address—notably, while Romney very loudly chastises Santos for trying to greet and shake hands with President Biden after his speech.
Look, I don’t know who to believe, and… I also don’t really care? I find them both pretty deplorable and will happily let them fight this out amongst themselves.