How George Santos Turned His Expulsion From Congress Into An Internet Joke

When life gives you lemons, all that's left to do is make lemonade — or, in expelled Congressman George Santos' case, video cameos. Days after the House voted to remove George Santos over financial fraud, Santos turned to Cameo, a video-sharing platform that allows celebrities (or, as Santos' describes himself, "former congressional icons") to send short, personalized videos in exchange for money.

Santos' controversial political career had entered meme-worthy status long before the House expelled him from his representative seat, and his turn to Cameo seems to signal him taking the memes into his own hands. His unapologetically snarky videos reference multiple scandals that have hung over his career, including lying about his educational background and buying designer goods and Botox with political donations, per The New York Times

The ex-congressman even busted out his musical chops to sing a line from his favorite Taylor Swift song, "I Knew You Were Trouble," proving yet again that life really does imitate art (via YouTube). And besides, Santos had to find something to do while awaiting his September 2024 trial, right?

George Santos has sent Cameo videos to former colleagues and strangers like

Former New York Congressman George Santos might've been voted out of the House, but that doesn't mean he's out of the loop of political drama. Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman used Santos' new Cameo platform to troll his political opponent, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, whom Fetterman called his "ethically-challenged colleague" in an Instagram post with Santos' video.

"Hey, Bobby!" Santos' cameo video starts. "Uh, look — I don't think I need to tell you but these people that want to make you get in trouble and want to kick you out and make you run away, you make them put up or shut up. You stand your ground, sir, and don't get bogged down by all the haters out there. Stay strong. Merry Christmas!" 

Santos has also delivered cameos to newlyweds, best friends, group chat members, and more. While some videos offer touching messages of encouragement, others directly poke fun at himself. In one Cameo, the "congressional icon" said, "Joe and Julie would like you to spend some money on yourselves from the gift this year. It could be anything from Botox to luxury goods of any kind, like a trip to Hermés or makeup from Sephora or a subscription to OnlyFans," referencing the exact items he was found to have bought with political donor funds.

George Santos' new Cameo career might be more profitable than Congress

A humble queen if there ever was one, former Rep. George Santos started his Cameo rates out at a modest $75 before hiking his prices up to $400 a pop as of this writing, a not-so-modest price increase of over 430%. Semafor reports that Santos has outpaced his $174,000 Congressional salary in his first week on the platform, which was suggested to him by an aide to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

"Obviously, there's a monetary benefit — I'm not here doing it for charity," Santos told Semafor. "But the other aspect is to remind these a**holes who think they're holier-than-thou that they will be forgotten in history, and I will live forever, period." Although Santos told the site he disagrees with speculation that he'll transition to reality television, he has hired an agent from Entertainment 360, Evan Silverberg.

Santos is currently facing 23 felony charges, including wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, and theft of public funds, among others, per The New York Times. Unless Santos reaches a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors first, his trial will start on Long Island in September 2024. What remains to be seen is how many Cameo videos Santos will be able to produce before he has to enter the courtroom.