New York Congressman-elect George Santos: George Santos, the Republican congressman-elect from New York who is the subject of a controversy over his allegedly faked resume, has acknowledged lying about his work history and college degree during his successful bid for the US House.
2020 was Santos’ initial run for Congress. He was chosen in November this year to represent a portion of northeast Queens and northern Long Island.
The New York Times was the first to call out his exaggerations, questioning claims that he had worked at two prestigious Wall Street banks, had degrees in finance and economics from two New York colleges, was Jewish, and that four of his company’s employees had died in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016.
Santos told the New York Post on Monday: “My sins here are embellishing my résumé. I’m sorry.”
Santos, 34, added that during his campaign, he “spoke about the people’s concerns, not my résumé… The commitments I made during the campaign will be kept.
But he admitted that he “didn’t graduate from any higher education institution. I regret and feel embarrassed that I exaggerated my resume. I’m sorry about that. I own up to that … We do stupid things in life”.
Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, have said Santos is unsuitable to serve in Congress. Before accepting it, some have urged him to resign from his position.
A democratic state senator from California, Ted Lieu, wrote on Twitter: “George Santos, who has finally confirmed his huge lies, should resign. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House leader, should put the matter to a vote to remove him if he doesn’t.
According to Texas senator Joaquin Castro, allowing Santos to take office would create a risky precedent.
“We’ve seen people fudge their résumé, but this is a total fabrication,” Castro said, suggesting Santos “should also be investigated by authorities.”
The next Democratic House leader, Hakeem Jeffries, has claimed that Santos “appears to be a complete and utter fraud.”
On Tuesday, Republican leaders started responding publicly to Santos’ statements. The congressman “broke the public trust,” according to Joe Cairo, chairman of the Nassau County GOP on Long Island, but “must fulfill the public’s will in Washington.”
Cairo claimed that Santos “has a lot of work to do” to win back the support of the people and those he represents in Congress.
Santos claimed to have had positions with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Neither business could locate pertinent records. Santos claimed to the Post that he had “never worked directly” for either company and that his remarks were “poorly chosen.” He said both did business with LinkBridge, an investment firm where he served as vice president.
The Times also found Brazilian court documents proving Santos had previously been accused of fraud for using a stolen checkbook.
“I am not a criminal here – not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” Santos told the Post. “Not. That didn’t happen.”
Santos claimed that he owed money to creditors and renters due to financial hardships.
Santos’ website stated that his grandparents “fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution” during World War II. However, the Jewish American news source, the Forward, questioned this story.
“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.’”
Cairo said: “The damage that his lies have caused too many people, especially those impacted by the Holocaust, is profound.”
According to The Daily Beast, Santos, who has come out as gay, divorced a woman in September 2019.
The website stated that Santos has never acknowledged his previous marriage, even though it isn’t strictly at odds with his sexuality. His biography also claims that he lives with his husband, Matt, and four dogs.
“I dated women in the past. I married a woman. It’s personal stuff,” Santos told the Post, adding that he was “OK with my sexuality. People change.”
Santos retracted statements that the business he worked for “lost four employees” in the Pulse nightclub shooting and stated that the four were being hired.