Dec 4, 2023 - Politics & Policy

George Santos turns to Cameo after House expulsion

Former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) is swarmed by media while leaving the U.S. Capitol after being expelled from The House of Representatives on December 1, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) is swarmed by media while leaving the U.S. Capitol after being expelled from The House of Representatives on December 1, 2023 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty

Former Rep. George Santos, who was historically fired Friday from Congress, has a new side hustle: Cameo, the celebrity and influencer video messaging app.

The big picture: The Long Island Republican — billing himself as a "former Congressional 'icon'!" — is looking to cash in (more) as his cultural star power rises and his potential legal fees probably rack up.

  • Santos' removal from office via a bipartisan vote, following a damning House Ethics Committee report, has been parodied and subtweeted by everyone from SNL's Bowen Yang to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
  • As of Monday afternoon, Santos was charging $200 per video, hiking it from $150 after a barrage of media mentions and in the wake of much social media discourse about him. A direct message will cost you $10.
  • An ex-Santos staffer confirmed to WIRED that the profile is real.

What he's saying: In one holiday-themed video, Santos glibly suggests the recipient treat themselves to a gift, referencing items he's been accused of spending campaign funds on.

  • "It could be anything from Botox to luxury goods of any kind, like a trip to Hermes or makeup from Sephora. Or a subscription to OnlyFans."

Another recipient of a Santos Cameo included Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt (D).

Catch up quick: Santos has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, which range from aggravated identity theft to wire fraud and money laundering.

  • He resisted leaving Congress for months following the first federal indictment against him in May.

Of note: On the heels of Santos' expulsion, Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Iowa) introduced legislation Monday barring expelled lawmakers from receiving congressional pensions.

  • Santos isn't eligible for a congressional pension, having served less than a year in office.

What's next: A crowded field of candidates is vying for Santos' competitive seat in Congress.

  • It's a strong pick-up opportunity for Democrats in a typically blue stronghold, where results from the 2022 midterms have been cited for narrowly costing the party House control.

The Santos sensation appears far from over. A movie brought by "Veep" executive producer Frank Rich about the political fabulist is coming to HBO.

  • As for his future, the ex-congressman didn't entirely rule out "Dancing with the Stars."

Go deeper: George Santos expulsion was up in the air ahead of House vote

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