A GOP New York congressman-elect has finally admitted to deceiving his supporters about his background, employment, education, and personal experiences during his campaign. Rep.-elect George Santos was caught in a plethora of bizarre claims after a New York Times article began investigating some of these assertions. Santos kept to the shadows for a few days before resurfacing on Monday in order to “clarify” the allegations.
According to the New York Post:
“Brooklyn and Queens Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who will replace current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader in the House Jan. 3, said Santos deserves the opportunity to defend himself and that McCarthy and the Republicans will decide Santos’ fate.
“‘Right now, George Santos appears to be in the Witness Protection Program. No one can find him,’ Jeffries said Wednesday. ‘He’s hiding from legitimate questions that his constituents are asking about his education, about his so-called charity, about his work experience, about his criminal entanglement in Brazil, about every aspect, it appears, of his life.’”
The Long Island-Queens Republican spoke to the New York Post on Monday and said the only thing he's guilty of “embellishing” is his resume. So, what are a few of these “embellishments”?
Santos claimed that he was a graduate of Baruch College. Santos did not graduate from any college.
“I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” he said. “I own up to that.… We do stupid things in life.”
While campaigning, Santos said he'd once worked for Goldman Sachs as well as Citicorp. He wasn't employed by either of them.
“The 34-year-old now claims instead that a company called Link Bridge, where he worked as a vice president, did business with both of the financial giants.
“‘I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly,’ Santos said of the lie.”
Santos claimed to be Jewish during his remarks about his Jewish mother. He then said that his grandparents had escaped Nazi attacks during WWII. But Santos is Catholic.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos said. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was `Jew-ish.’”
In perhaps the most absurd lie, Santos was set to be the first gay, not-incumbent Republican elected to be a member of the House of Representatives and was enthusiastically running with his sexual orientation as an important aspect of his campaign to attract voters. However, the congressman-elect from the 3rd District was married to a woman until 2019. He says he's now a “happily married gay man.”
“I dated women in the past. I married a woman. It’s personal stuff,” Santos said, adding that the relationship “got a little toxic.”
“I’m very much gay,” he claims today. “I’m OK with my sexuality. People change. I’m one of those people who change.”
Santos also told the Post that he was indeed a “deadbeat tenant” in Sunnyside, Queens. He was ordered to pay $12,000 in back rent. His landlord accused him of writing bad checks. On the other hand, Santos claims that at the time of the debt, his mother was suffering from cancer. This pushed his family members into financial turmoil. When asked whether the debt was ever paid off, Santos said he “completely forgot about it.”
The 34-year-old said he owned thirteen business properties. He owns none.
The New York Times alleges Santos may have an arrest warrant issued in Brazil; however, Santos explicitly denies this assertion.
Santos told the Post that he didn't run on the basis of his resume but rather on the issues and that he plans to fulfill the term to which he was elected.
“I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign—fighting crime, fighting to lower inflation, improving education,” he stated, adding, “The people elected me to fight for them.”
Santos' “fish tales” were previously known in Republican circles and had become a running joke. The leaders had hoped that the people would come together to resolve the issues. Now that Santos is an elected representative, House Republicans must figure out how to deal with him as the new Congress begins its work.