Former Santos staffer says expelled congressman's surprise challenge to Lalota 'is a joke'

Naysa Woomer, who served as George Santos' communications director, says the media attention he's received 'increased his ego'

A former spokeswoman for disgraced ex-congressman George Santos gave a blunt assessment of his surprise comeback campaign in a different district.

Naysa Woomer, who served as Santos' communications director for six months before he was expelled from Congress, said the celebrity and media attention Santos received while in office went straight to his head.

Asked if there is something wrong with Santos, Woomer told CNN's Jake Tapper, "I want to say, yes, a little bit because it sounds like someone who just — he went from being a congressman to a celebrity. And I think just the media attention that came around him during his entire time in Congress, it just, I think it increased his ego." 

"After listening to members such as Nick LaLota and Anthony D'Esposito, I agree with them. I mean, it's a joke," she continued. "And one of my biggest questions is, you know, do we need to go back?"


George Santos

Former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., sits on the House floor before the start of President Joe Biden's State of the Union Address to the joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, March 7, 2024. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Santos turned heads Thursday night when he attended President Biden's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. While the president was speaking, Santos declared his intention to challenge Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., in New York's First Congressional District in the next election.

"New York hasn’t had a real conservative represent them since I left office arbitrarily, thanks to RINO, empty suits like Nick LaLota," Santos wrote on X. "He is a willing to risk the future of our majority and the future of this country for his own political gain. After a lot of prayer and conversation with my friends and family, I have made a very important decision that will shake things up."

Santos was previously elected to and expelled from New York's 3rd Congressional District. The disgraced New York Republican was tossed out of Congress after a damning House Ethics Committee report found that he misused campaign funds on luxury items and OnlyFans, among other things.


Nick LaLota

Rep. Nick Lalota, R-N.Y., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Santos announced his intention to challenge LaLota in the Republican primary for New York's 1st Congressional District.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Santos has not been convicted of a crime, but he has been indicted on multiple counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, falsification of records, credit card fraud and other charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

LaLota said he would welcome the chance to defeat Santos in a primary. 

"To raise the standard in Congress, and to hold a pathological liar who stole an election accountable, I led the charge to expel George Santos," LaLota posted on X. "If finishing the job requires beating him in a primary, count me in." 


George Santos and Matt Gaetz

Former U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) (L) sits with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) at U.S. President Joe Biden's State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 7, 2024 in Washington, D.C. ( Win McNamee/Getty Images)

After Santos showed up at the State of the Union Address, Rep. Ritche Torres, D-N.Y., announced Friday he would introduce legislation to revoke his floor privileges.

The "Getting Expelled Officially Revokes Guaranteed Entry" rule, or GEORGE rule, would prevent former House members who have been expelled from Congress from keeping their privileges, including the right to enter the House floor when the body is in session. 

Woomer told Tapper she supported Torres' proposal.

"I think it is a good rule," she said. "I mean, let’s just remember too, only, I think he’s the sixth member of Congress who had been expelled."

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