“I wasn’t there to play nice”: Santos pressed in no-holds-barred interview with comedian Ziwe

“I wasn’t there to play nice”: Santos pressed in no-holds-barred interview with comedian Ziwe
Former U.S. Rep. George Santos. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

In a no-holds-barred interview between ex-Rep. George Santos and famed comedian Ziwerekoru “Ziwe” Fumudoh, the embattled former congressional member met his match as he faced unfiltered yet cheeky questions pressing him on the issues that have plagued his political career.

“I wasn’t there to play nice,” Santos said about his time in the House of Representatives. “I was there to expose rotten corruption and I did, and I’m going to do it, Republicans and Democrats alike; swampy, slimy people selling this country down a river.”

The interview, which Ziwe called a match between a jokester and a national joke, was conducted in the comedian’s satirical interview style that features hard-hitting questions framed within a humorous tone.

The interview highlights behind-the-scenes footage before the official interview in which Santos asks her to be “mindful” when bringing up his Department of Justice indictment. Multiple questions in the interview referenced the 23-count federal indictment he faces.

The satirical news interview, which was called ZNN – a play on words mashing together the comedian’s name and news network CNN, started with a disclaimer that “no congressmen were paid in the making of this interview… even though George Santos asked… three times…”

Questions ranged from whether or not he would be featured on “Dancing With the Stars” – following in the footsteps of Donald Trump’s first White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer – and how he is like civil rights leader Rosa Parks whom he compared himself to after having to sit in the back of Congress.

“Rosa Parks, believe it or not, is one of my favorite political figures,” Santos said.

“Why wouldn’t I believe that?” Ziwe asked, jokingly referencing the series of lies he has been accused of campaigning upon.

“I had a portrait of her in my office,” Santos replied. “I think that speaks for itself.”

Ziwe listed notable civil rights activists for Santos to comment on, from James Baldwin to Harvey Milk, but he could not identify most of them.

Santos did know, however, about Bowen Yang’s impersonation of him in “Saturday Night Live” skits. The disgraced congressman said his performances made him deserving of becoming an EGOT, or winning all Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

When asked if he’d like Yang to play him in the HBO biopic, which has been rumored to be made about the ousted representative, Santos said the movie would never be made. He said the book, which the biopic would be based on, does not have any “perspective” on him or anyone close to him.

“It’s a f—ing fiction,” Santos said.

“You love fiction, though,” Ziwe replied.

Ziwe called Santos a “messy bitch that lives for drama,” which Santos said is a phrase that should be put on a pin that he would wear any day.

“You can call me a messy bitch, I’ve been called worse,” Santos said. “But I’ll take it.”

Ziwe asked Santos if anyone else in Congress is committing fraud, to which Santos replied “they’re all frauds.”

“If you were to put them all under the same scrutiny I was put under you’d f—ing vacate the whole goddamn building,” Santos said.

When confronted with some of his lies, such as his mother dying in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and his grandparents surviving the Holocaust, Santos continued to deny that he made any such claims despite evidence that he had.

Ziwe asked if he thought the use of terror was OK for politicians to use for their professional gain. Santos said “that’s what politicians do” while denouncing the behavior.

“They’re hacks,” Santos said. “They’re not doing anything other than lying to you. If a politician’s mouth is moving on Capitol Hill, they’re lying to you.”

“But I’m looking at a politician, and your mouth is moving and I feel like you’re lying to me,” Ziwe responded.

Santos denied being called a politician, saying he was an elected public service and “never caved to the establishment of politics.”

When asked to picture a criminal’s outfit, Santos described him wearing a blue suit and a white shirt. Santos showed up for the interview wearing a blue blazer and then multiple pictures of him wearing a blue suit and white shirt were shown in the video.

Ziwe asked Santos what excites him about going to prison in light of his 23-count indictment. Santos refused to answer, saying it was a question below the belt.

“Do you like the color orange?” Ziwe asked.

“Really?” Santos responded.

Despite the blows, the interview was filled with laughter – albeit out of apparent discomfort at times – and smiles.

Santos told Ziwe that while he won’t be seeking office anytime soon, it’s a possibility he has not ruled out for the future. He said as of now that potential office would be under the Republican Party but may change to be an Independent.

“I’ll be back,” Santos said. “Yeah, I’m 35, they’re all in their 50s. I’ll outlive them.”

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