New York GOP Representative-elect George Santos finally admitted to “embellishing” his education and work history, but still plans to serve his congressional term.
“I am not a criminal,” he commented “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
Santos made history as the first ever openly gay Republican elected to Congress when he defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman, who is also gay, for a Long Island House seat on Nov. 8.
Santos, 34, won on a “common sense” platform that included more funding for law enforcement, repealing New York’s cashless bail law, and tax cuts.
He will succeed Rep Tom Souzzi, who is retiring, to represent the 3rd Congressional District.
“I will govern and deliver results for all the people — those who voted for me and those who didn’t,” Santos remarked in November.
But in the short time since the election, a damning report by the New York Times on Dec. 19, raised questions about Santos’ education, work history, heritage, and sexual orientation.
In his biography, Santos claimed to have earned degrees in finance and economics from New York University and CUNY Baruch College, and said that he graduated with “zero debt” from his undergraduate studies and MBA at NYU.
In an interview with the New York Post on Monday, he admitted to lying about attending either of the elite universities.
“I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” Santos remarked. “I own up to that … We do stupid things in life.”
His campaign biography also stated that his work experience included financial firms Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, who denied he ever held positions at either Wall Street giant.
In reality, he was working for $15 an hour at a call center in Queens, NY at the time.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos apologized on Monday.
He maintained that he “never worked directly” with either firm, but did business with both Goldman Sachs and Citigroup while he was a vice president at Link Bridge.
“I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly,” he said about the alleged limited partnerships he supposedly facilitated between clients and investors.
Santos also lied about his heritage on his campaign website, which said that his maternal grandparents fled to Brazil to dodge the Holocaust, and that his mother was Jewish.
But a deep dive into his family by the Times revealed that his mother’s parents were born in Brazil, and like them, she was a Catholic.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos refuted. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”
Santos’ sexuality came into question, when it was revealed that he was married to a woman from 2012 until 2017, despite claiming to be an openly gay man.
He acknowledged that he “dated women in the past. I married a woman. It’s personal stuff.”
“I’m very much gay,” Santos said about his current sexual preference. “I’m OK with my sexuality. People change. I’m one of those people who change.”
House Democrats are calling for Santos to resign from his new post in light of all the lies.
When Santos wrote that he planned to tell his story to the post on Dec. 22, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), bashed him on Twitter.
“Why do you need a full week to confirm if you live where you said you did, worked where you said you did, went to school where you said you did…?” She wrote.
“Holy Smokes,” tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). “[Santos] just confessed to defrauding the voters of Long Island about his ENTIRE resume. RT if he should be banned from taking the oath for Congress.”
“GOP Congressman-elect George Santos, who has now admitted his whopping lies, should resign,” added Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
George Santos should resign as Congressman-elect,” chimed in Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas.) “If he refuses, Congress should expel him.”
“He should also be investigated by authorities. Just about every aspect of his life appears to be a lie. We’ve seen people fudge their resume but this is total fabrication.”
Santos has no intentions of giving up his Congressional seat, despite calls for his voluntary resignation.
“I campaigned talking about the people’s concerns, not my resume,” he continued. “I came to DC to bring results on those issues and that’s what I’m going to do.”
“I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign — fighting crime, fighting to lower inflation, improving education,” Santos concluded. “The people elected me to fight for them.”