Republican George Santos, who flipped a U.S. House seat in New York from blue to red, has admitted to making up key aspects of his educational, professional, and personal background. But he doesn’t call what he did lying.
Santos gave interviews to the New York Post and 77 WABC radio.
The Republican who won the election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, in November, has now admitted to fabricating parts of his background, the New York Post reported on Monday.
Last week, serious questions arose about the congressman-elect after the New York Times reported that Santos misled the public on key aspects of his life, including his education and employment history.
Santos confirmed some aspects of the report to the Post but insisted that he will show up in January to be sworn into Congress.
“I am not a criminal,” said Santos in an interview. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
Serious questions raised about GOP congressman-elect George Santos
Santos apparently misrepresented his education, employment history, and even personal background in his official bio that appeared on his campaign website.
He claimed that he graduated from CUNY’s Baruch College, worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, runs a family investment firm, owns multiple properties, and his grandparents escaped the Holocaust.
Well, Santos admitted to the Post that he either lied or stated things “poorly.”
“I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” Santos said. “We do stupid things in life.”
I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume. We do stupid things in life.
He also said he is Catholic, not Jewish, and that his grandmother told stories about being Jewish and later converting to Catholicism.
The Forward had questioned the claim on the Santos campaign website that his grandparents “fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII.”
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” said Santos. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.'”
The Post didn’t report if Santos addressed the specific claim that his grandparents fled from the Nazis.
Santos admitted that he never worked for either Goldman Sachs or Citigroup but that he worked for a firm that did business with them. He said his link to those financial giants “was stated poorly” and that he would be “clearer about that.”
Democrat Robert Zimmerman, the man Santos defeated in the November election, called Santos a “fraud.”
“The person who the voters voted for was a fiction, was a fraud. George Santos presented a resume and a background to the public that he admits was a complete lie,” Zimmerman told Fox 5 News. “He defrauded the citizens of our congressional district. This is much bigger than Democrat and Republican politics.”
Some voters who live in the 3rd District, which covers parts of western Nassau County and eastern Queens, and New York lawmakers have called for Santos to step down before he even takes office in January.
However, Santos doesn’t appear to be backing down from going to Washington. He told the Post he intends to “deliver on the promises” he made during the campaign.