January 21, 2023
Watch: Who is the Twink Pitbull Protecting George Santos?
READ TIME: 3 MIN.
The big question raised when watching footage of George Santos dodging reporters in the halls of Congress is who is the twink pitbull guiding him through the chaos. In the video clips that have gone viral on Twitter the young man is seen setting boundaries with the press as Santos quickly walks from his office to an elevator, holding his hands up while saying "please back up." Dressed in a blue suit and red tie, he is every inch a congressional staffer, though it is doubtful he ever expected he'd be stuck in the middle between his employee and the press in DC's biggest political scandal thus far this year.
But it turns out that the staffer -- Rafaello Carone – has a history of working with Congressman under fire. He was previously "the social media manager for former Rep. Madison J. Cawthorn of North Carolina, who lost a primary last year amid a swirl of controversies and was recently fined by the House Ethics Committee for promoting a cryptocurrency in which he had a financial interest," writes the New York Times.
"Mr. Carone's firm, Liberty & Justice Consulting Firm, says on its website that it does "extreme vetting" for clients and touts its work with Virginians for America First, a Republican-aligned group that questioned the results of the 2020 election and recruited poll watchers to root out purported fraud."
Carone is a one of the new hires Santos has made for his office. Also seen in videos, according to the Times, is Viswanag Burra, who has been hired as his operations director, according to LegiStorm, an online database that tracks congressional staff members.
According to its website, "Liberty & Justice Consulting Firm was created by our founder Rafaello J. Carone in 2021 following his experience working in law in a prominent national law firm, campaigning and working for the RNC, and then on to the Hill. During the 117th Congress, we saw the most abhorrent affronts to our US Constitution and civil liberties. The fact of the matter was that we didn't have enough Republican and Conservative members of Congress. Following his exit from the Hill, Rafaello founded Liberty & Justice Consulting Firm to send a new wave of conservative leaders to Washington to hold all parties accountable to the people they're meant to serve."
Mr. Burra declined to comment on his role in Mr. Santos's office, referring questions to the congressman's new communications director, Naysa Woomer, who did not respond when asked to confirm Mr. Burra's employment.
According to nonpartisan research firm LegiStorm, the Boston Globe reports, "Naysa Woomer, the former spokesperson for the Massachusetts Republican Party, comes into the role after nearly four years working for the state Department of Revenue under the administration of former governor Charlie Baker."
Also hired is Mr. Santos's chief of staff, Charles Lovett, had been his campaign manager. He previously worked as the political director for Josh Mandel, who unsuccessfully ran in a Senate primary in Ohio as a hard-right, pro-Trump conservative.