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NEW YORK -- Candidate interviews are underway to fill the now-vacant congressional seat following
The former congressman has launched a new way to potentially earn money, but a top former staffer has some advice for him.
He may have been stripped of his seat in the House of Representatives, but Santos is still soaking up the spotlight, as he suggested right before his historic expulsion.
"It doesn't mean that it's goodbye forever," he said Thursday.
On his first days as citizen Santos, he has threatened four members of Congress with ethics complaints, launched a Cameo account, which lists him as an "Icon" offering $200 personalized videos that sold out in hours, and took to social media with a cryptic "The truth will set me free" post.
He also got advice from Naysa Woomer, his former communications director.
"You've had many opportunities to tell the truth for about a solid year, so maybe start learning to do that," Woomer said. "You're not a victim. You are a product of your own making. You need to own up to everything that you've lied about."
Woomer resigned after Santos' first indictment.
CBS New York asked why she stayed that long, considering the revelations he had lied about his entire life story. She responded by saying she believed Santos when he would ask, "'What do I do? How do I make this better?'" and adding, "At first, I thought this was someone who was ready to make it right with his constituents."
Woomer is not the only one distancing herself. Michael Sapraicone, who is running for the vacant seat, was just endorsed by Santos and says no thank you.
"He is nothing but a crook and a fraud and he should have been removed from Congress a long time ago," Sapraicone said.
Sapraicone is one of 20 Republican hopefuls being interviewed by party leaders, along with an outside firm doing background research.
"George Santos was a blemish and stain. Let's move forward," Nassau County Republican Party Chairman Joe Cairo said.
The Democrats are considering three to four candidates.
"The governor has made it very clear that she wants to be sure that the DCCC has done a good vetting of all the potential candidates. We will be meeting and selecting our candidate on Thursday," New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said.
Both parties are aggressively vetting in the wake of the Santos fiasco.
"I've never seen anybody like this who just truly believed on their own lies, that they truly were the financier that he claimed to be. You've been caught and maybe it's time to speak with a therapist," Woomer said.
Santos is due back in court next week. Woomer said she doesn't want to see him behind bars, but does want him held accountable.