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Republican Congressman Admits He Fabricated His Entire Résumé: 'We Do Stupid Things in Life'

Rep.-elect George Santos (R-NY), who lied about being Jewish, graduating from college, working at Goldman Sachs, owning real estate, etc., refuses to step down.

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Image for article titled Republican Congressman Admits He Fabricated His Entire Résumé: 'We Do Stupid Things in Life'
Photo: Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM (Getty Images)

Last week, several news outlets alleged that Representative-elect George Santos (R-N.Y.) fabricated large parts of his biography—including where he went to college, his employment history, losing multiple employees in the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting, and even that his grandparents were Jewish and had to flee Nazi persecution. Now, Santos is admitting that, yes, he made a bunch of that up, but, no, he doesn’t plan to step down. His Democratic opponent, Robert Zimmerman, called for him to resign so the pair can face off again in a special election.

In an interview with the New York Post published on Monday, Santos attempted to address some of his many fabrications. Please grab some water, as there is a lot of material here. Santos, 34, said he didn’t graduate from college in 2010 as he’d claimed. He also said he didn’t work at either Citigroup or Goldman Sachs, but that the company where he did work, Link Bridge, did business with those financial firms. (He blamed that one on a “poor choice of words,” rather than it being a lie to suggest he’d worked for the firms directly.)

“My sins here are embellishing my résumé. I’m sorry,” Santos told the Post, adding, “I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my résumé. I own up to that…We do stupid things in life.”

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As for the claim that his Jewish maternal grandparents fled persecution in World War II Europe, Santos said his grandmother told stories about converting from Judaism to Catholicism. Now please brace yourself for this direct quote, which sounds like it came from Veep: “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”

But the Republican Jewish Coalition said that’s also a lie. In a statement on Tuesday they said Santos “deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally he previously claimed to be Jewish. He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event.” The RJC said that it’s *Susan Collins voice* “very disappointed” in Santos, but notably did not call for him to resign.

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Santos, who bears the dubious distinction of being “the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to the House,” also faced accusations that he’d lied about his sexual orientation. The Daily Beast reported that Santos was married to a woman until shortly before launching his failed 2020 House campaign.

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Santos told the Post that he’s now married to a man. “I dated women in the past. I married a woman. It’s personal stuff,” he said, adding, “I’m very much gay. I’m OK with my sexuality. People change. I’m one of those people who change.” (The Daily Beast reported that the divorce was in September 2019, less than two weeks before he launched his first campaign, but Santos told the Post he got divorced in 2017.)

Santos claimed he could also explain his statement that he lost four employees in the Pulse Nightclub shooting, despite the fact that The New York Times couldn’t find any ties between the 49 victims and the companies where Santos worked. In an interview with WABC radio, Santos said he was going to hire those people. “We did lose four people that were going to be coming to work for the company that I was starting up in Orlando,” he said.

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The Times found that Santos did have a Florida driver’s license and was registered to vote there in 2016, the year of the shooting, but he didn’t provide any additional information about the company he said he was starting. (That WABC interview was strangely conducted by Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former Congressman and ex-husband of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and John Catsimatidis the owner of Gristedes supermarkets and a Republican megadonor.)

During the campaign, Santos claimed he was in charge of his family’s real-estate portfolio of 13 New York properties and that he owned an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, but he admitted to the Post that he doesn’t own any real estate.

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And, finally, Santos vehemently denied reporting from the Times that he was criminally charged for check fraud in Brazil after he stole someone’s checkbook at age 19. “I am not a criminal here—not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” Santos said. “Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”

Despite this lengthy accounting for various lies in multiple interviews, Santos said he will not step down as the Congressman-elect for New York’s 3rd Congressional district, which includes parts of Long Island and Queens. Santos even said he still thinks he will be an effective lawmaker.

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“I campaigned talking about the people’s concerns, not my résumé,” Santos told the Post, adding, “I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign—fighting crime, fighting to lower inflation, improving education.”

This man appears to be very good at lying to both the public and to himself. He’ll fit right in with the House GOP caucus.