Expelled GOP Rep. George Santos appears on House floor, announces he's running again

Disgraced former Republican Rep. George Santos arrived in the House chamber on Thursday night about an hour before President Joe Biden's speech was to begin and about three months after he became the first House member to be expelled in more than 20 years.

He was seen seated on the GOP side near the aisle -- his normal position when he was a voting lawmaker.

PHOTO: Former Rep. George Santos sits with Rep. Matt Gaetz before President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, Mar. 7, 2024. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Former Rep. George Santos sits with Rep. Matt Gaetz before President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, Mar. 7, 2024. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

MORE: Republican George Santos becomes first House member expelled in more than 20 years

He had told ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott he would do so.

Scott reported that for several minutes, Santos was seated where he could brush shoulders with Biden if he were to stay there while the president arrived and walked down the aisle.

PHOTO: Representative Lauren Boebert, former Representative George Santos and Representative Ronny Jackson talk with each other ahead President Joe Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, Mar. 7, 2024. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Representative Lauren Boebert, former Representative George Santos and Representative Ronny Jackson talk with each other ahead President Joe Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, Mar. 7, 2024. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Santos later briefly left the chamber, entering the Republican cloak room.

As a former member, Santos retains the privilege of accessing the House floor.

He would need to be convicted of one of his criminal charges to be banned from the floor.

He has pleaded not guilty.

PHOTO: Rep. George Santos is surrounded by journalists as he leaves the U.S. Capitol after his fellow members of Congress voted to expel him from the House of Representatives, Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Rep. George Santos is surrounded by journalists as he leaves the U.S. Capitol after his fellow members of Congress voted to expel him from the House of Representatives, Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

At one point, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida joined in a conversation with Santos, along with chat with GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who rocked her head back in laughter.

At about the same time, Santos appeared to be launching a new bid for Congress, per an announcement he's made on "X" and a corresponding Federal Election Commission filing.

"After a lot of prayer and conversation with my friends and family, I have made a very important decision that will shake things up. Tonight, I want to announce that I will be returning to the arena of politics ..." he said in part.

"Tonight, I came to the SOTU with an open mind and heart because I believe in the great idea that is the United States of America," he said.

ABC News' Brittany Shepherd contributed to this report.

Expelled GOP Rep. George Santos appears on House floor, announces he's running again originally appeared on abcnews.go.com