Rep.-elect George Santos admitted on Monday to misrepresenting his professional experience and educational history to voters, but said it wouldn’t stop him from taking office in January.
gentlemen. Santos, a New York Republican who was elected in November to represent parts of northern Long Island and northeastern Queens, confirmed some key findings of his background check by The New York Times but tried to minimize comments from The Times. Zhou announced the results of the investigation.
“I think you’re embellishing my resume,” said Mr. Santos told the New York Post in one of two interviews Monday with conservative media outlets.
“I’m not a criminal,” Mr. Santos said, adding that he would remain an effective lawmaker. In a separate interview with WABC-AM radio, he said he still intends to be sworn in at the start of the next Congress.
The admission of Mr. Santos is the culmination of one of the more egregious examples of an incoming congressman falsifying key biographical elements of his background — with Mr. Santos maintained the lie by running for Congress twice in a row.
However, even Mr. Santos’ victory helped give Republicans a narrow majority in the next House, something he admits to fabrications, but his actions still won’t stop him from entering Congress nine times out of ten.
Democrats — including outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the next House Democratic leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York — blamed Mr. Trump. Santos is unfit to serve in Congress. House Republican leaders, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, have largely remained silent.
The aftermath of the 2022 midterm elections
A moment of reflection. After the midterm elections, Democrats and Republicans face key questions about the future of their respective parties. With the House and Senate decisions, the situation is as follows:
The House can prevent candidates from taking office only if they violate constitutional age, citizenship and state residency requirements. However, once he is seated, sir. Legal experts say Santos could face an ethics investigation.
gentlemen. Through a representative, Santos declined repeated requests to speak to The Times.His interview did not fully address the scope of the Times report, which also included omissions from his financial disclosure forms and charities he claimed to have formed and registered with the IRS
He has also steadfastly denied criminal charges anywhere in the world, but appears to have failed to explain the existence of records indicating he was charged with check fraud in Brazil.
During his campaign, Mr. Santos claims to have worked at Citigroup and eventually Goldman Sachs after graduating from Baruch College in 2010. A biography on the website of the National Republican Congressional Committee says he attended Baruch University and New York University, where he earned degrees in finance and economics.
But when contacted by The Times, the university and company were unable to find records to verify his claims.
In an interview on Monday, Mr. Santos admitted to the Post that he had not “graduated from any institution of higher education.” He also admitted that he had never worked directly for Goldman or Citigroup and blamed “a misnomer” for creating his impression.
Mr. Santos’ past statements, however, are relatively clear: the archived versions of Mr. Santos’ previous campaign website, preserved by the Wayback Machine, says he “started at Citigroup as an assistant and quickly rose to become an assistant asset manager in the firm’s real estate division.”
Instead, he told the Post, he dealt with both firms through his work at another firm, LinkBridge Investors, which connects investors with potential clients.
gentlemen. Santos told the Post that LinkBridge has limited partnerships with two Wall Street firms.
The Times was able to confirm Mr. Santos’ work on LinkBridge. But in the most recent version of his campaign biography, released in April, Mr. Santos said he started his Wall Street career at Citigroup and briefly worked at Goldman Sachs before joining LinkBridge.
A Citigroup spokesman declined to comment. Representatives for Goldman Sachs and LinkBridge did not immediately respond to requests for more information.
gentlemen. Until recently, Santos hadn’t fully explained his employment during the years he claimed to have made his way on Wall Street. In an interview with WABC radio, he confirmed a Times report that he worked at a call center in Queens in late 2011 and early 2012.
The WABC interview itself is a political sideshow curiosity. gentlemen. Santos has given interviews to John Catsimatidis, a supermarket magnate and big Republican donor, and Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic congressman who resigned in disgrace in 2011.
gentlemen. Mr Wiener asked. Santos said in an interview shortly after he was elected last month that he worked for the company that “lost four employees” in the June 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The Times reviewed news reports and obituaries but found no evidence to support the claim.
Monday, sir. Santos told WABC that the four are not yet employees but are being hired.
“We did lose four people who were going to work for the company I started in Orlando,” he said.
gentlemen. Santos did not name the company or provide additional information to support his claim. Public records show that Mr. Santos was living in the Orlando area at the time of the shooting, where he was registered to vote during the 2016 election.