Has There Ever Been Anyone Like George Santos Before?

INSIDE: Scott Perry ... Donald Trump ... Jacinda Ardern
Baldwin, N.Y.: Congressman-elect George Devolder Santos joined the newly elected GOP members of the Senate and Congress during a press conference on November. 9, 2022 in Baldwin, New York. (Photo by Alejandra Villa ... Baldwin, N.Y.: Congressman-elect George Devolder Santos joined the newly elected GOP members of the Senate and Congress during a press conference on November. 9, 2022 in Baldwin, New York. (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

You Do You, George Santos!

I came into today determined not to lead a third Morning Memo in a row with the saga of George Santos. But I am a mere mortal running a small political tabloid, and Santos is a demigod of political scandal, bamboozlement and chicanery. I stand no chance against his formidable powers of cunning deceit and absurd scams. I bow before thee, George.

George Santos As Drag Queen

The current Republican congressman from Queens was for a time in Brazil more than a decade ago competing in drag queen pageants:

No, George Santos’ Mom Was Not a 9/11 Victim

My colleagues Nicole Lafond and Josh Marshall each tackled this new revelation based on a FOIA by The Forward of the immigration paperwork of Santos’ late mother. The New York Times has similar reporting: “Mr. Santos’s apparently fabricated link to Sept. 11 marks yet another entry in a long list of falsehoods that he shared as he sought elected office.”

George Santos Duped The Russians, Too???

Andrew Intrater, a cousin of the sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, has told associates that he was conned by Santos just like everyone else, Mother Jones reports. 

I Just Can’t Get Enough Of Santos And That Poor Dog

The alleged scam that George Santos pulled on a disabled vet trying to get care for his dying dog is just the worst of the worst. GoFundMe says it suspended Santos’ account at the time, back in 2016. Meanwhile, the veteran was on CNN last night:

The GOP’s Hostage-Taking Has Begun

Happy Debt Ceiling Day to all those who celebrate.

Scott Perry Lands A Slot On Oversight

Despite having his phone seized by the FBI as part of its investigation of Jan. 6, Rep. Scott Perry (R-GA) has been assigned a seat on the House Oversight Committee.

As I mentioned yesterday, the new GOP lineup on the committee is chock full of the craziest of the crazies, which is totally consistent with the goal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and committee Chair James Comer (R-KY): to use the panel to target political foes under the guise of “investigations.”

White House Sees Upside To Crazy Oversight Committee

I suspect this is overstated a tad, but this Politico report on the White House reaction to the craziest of the crazies landing on Oversight does offer a pretty good read on what the next two years will be like: House Oversight GOPers overreaching dramatically and the White House easily popping them for being fringe whackjobs.

It’s going to be a loooong two years.

I Guess There’s A Logic To It

For the second day in a row, a major news outlet has all the excruciating details on the Biden White House’s rationale for how it’s handled the discovery of mishandled classified documents from his vice presidency. Yesterday, it was the Wall Street Journal. Today, it’s the Washington Post.

It’s not a surprise to see pushback from the White House on the emerging narrative that it was not transparent enough about the discovery of the classified docs. But the granularity and specificity of the accounts on what the Biden lawyers were doing and why is a bit unexpected. They’re clearly feeling the sting of the political blowback, but more particularly they seem to be trying to correct the impression that they’re a bunch of bleeping idiots to have mismanaged the political and legal crisis in the way they have.

They make some compelling points via the WaPo story, summarized by former Obama DOJ spokesperson Matt Miller (speaking for himself here, if I understand it properly): “Oftentimes when you’re doing something that from the outside doesn’t appear to make sense, it’s not because you don’t know what you’re doing — it’s because you face some choices people don’t understand.”

Frenzied Trump Ramps Up Attacks On FBI

With Special Counsel Jack Smith now on the Mar-a-Lago case, former President Trump is becoming increasingly frenetic on his fake Twitter site. The two big takeaways from yesterday’s rant:

  • Trump is now calling the FBI the “Gestapo.”
  • Trump may have made yet another admission of his culpability in the classified documents case. He’s now saying the empty folders marked classified that the FBI seized during its raid were just “a ‘cool’ keepsake” that he kept after leaving the White House:

Remember, these were just ordinary, inexpensive folders with various words printed on them, but they were a ‘cool’ keepsake. Perhaps the Gestapo took some of these empty folders when they Raided Mar-a-Lago, & counted them as a document, which they are not. It’s also possible that the Trump Hating Marxist Thugs in charge will ‘plant’ documents while they’re in possession of the material.

Big Oops

Former President Donald Trump mistook a picture of Jean Carroll, the woman who has accused him of raping her in the mid-90s, for his second wife Marla Maples – wait for it – in a deposition he gave in the Carroll case.

American businessman Donald Trump attends an event with Marla Maples, 1990s. (Photo by Tom Gates/Getty Images)

Carroll is, of course, the woman Trump has repeatedly said is not his “type.”

Florida Congressman Injured In Accident At Home

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) is in the hospital with injuries he sustained after reportedly falling 25 feet from the roof of his home. His office confirmed that the congressman sustained several injuries after an accident at his home but provided few other details.

New Zealand PM Resigns

NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 19: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces her resignation at the War Memorial Centre on January 19, 2023 in Napier, New Zealand. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

The progressive icon Jacinda Ardern, only 37 when she became New Zealand’s prime minister, is stepping down at age 42, amid plummeting approval ratings and a tough re-election environment. The crisis-embattled PM said she doesn’t have “enough in the tank” to continue in the role, and she will not seek re-election to her seat in Parliament.

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Decision Expected Today On Charges In ‘Rust’ On-Set Shooting

MANCHESTER, VT – OCTOBER 30: Alec Baldwin speaks for the first time regarding the accidental shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and wounded director Joel Souza on the set of the film “Rust”, on October 30, 2021 in Manchester, Vermont. The actor, his wife and children pulled over to the side of the road and gave an unscheduled statement after being pursued by photographers and members of the press. (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)

The district attorney in Santa Fe is expected to announce a decision today on whether to charge anyone in connection with the 2021 fatal shooting on the set of the low-budget Alec Baldwin western “Rust.”

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