U.S. politicians are often caught walking back gaffes. Others — to the detriment of democracy — spout "alternative facts" or amplify baseless conspiracy theories. But Republican George Santos of New York gives new meaning to "foot-in-mouth." The incoming representative-elect, who flipped New York's third Congressional District in November, intends to serve in Congress but currently faces intense scrutiny over his backstory.There are multiple falsehoods pertaining to his employment, education, criminal record, religious background — even his grandparents.
Here's a list:See Also: Here's How Much Marjorie Taylor Greene Lost On Her Trump SPAC Investment1. His resume.Santos, whose district covers parts of Queens and some nearby Long Island suburbs, claimed that he worked for major financial firms, including Citigroup Inc C and Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS. Not true.It was "a poor choice of words," he told the New York Post.2.
His education.Santos, 34, once claimed he had earned degrees from both Baruch College and New York University.'I didn't graduate from any institution of higher learning," he clarified. "I'm embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume... we do stupid things in life.'3.
His religion.Santos, the first openly gay Republican to win a House seat as a non-incumbent, grew up Catholic. But he told the Jewish News Syndicate in November that he was 'very proud' of his 'Jewish heritage' from his mother's side.When asked to clarify, he responded: "I said I was ‘Jew-ish."It gets worse.4. His grandparents.Santos recalled how his grandparents survived the Holocaust during World War II in the first line of his 'About George' section on his web page, GeorgeForNY.com.'George's grandparents fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII," he claimed.'It's a story of survival, of tenacity, of grit, as we like to call it,' Santos told attendees at November's Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.That story was fiction.
Forward.com pulled records from the Holocaust Museum and the International Center on Nazi Persecution, which contain records on Jewish refugees, as well as genealogy websites. His mother's parents were born in Brazil and were Catholics. That page on Santos' website has since been taken down.5. His real estate properties.Santos once boasted that he had 13 rental properties in a family-owned real estate portfolio.The New York Times, which could not find any record of his real estate holdings, is now reporting that the Long Island candidate admitted to not being a landlord.6.
His criminal record.Santos, who notably took aim at entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried over alleged crimes committed at crypto exchange FTX, insisted that he himself was "not a criminal" in "any jurisdiction in the world.'In reality, Santos was charged with fraud when he was younger after getting caught "writing checks with a stolen checkbook," the Times reported.Santos had a narrow victory over Democrat Robert Zimmerman, helping to flip House control to Republicans.Santos, who was endorsed by New York GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik (a Donald Trump ally), previously ran in 2020 but lost to Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi.It remains to be seen whether Santos is fibbing about other claims he has made, such as: Financially supporting Jan. 6 insurrectionists.
Hiring four people before they were killed at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016. (The Times reviewed news coverage and obituaries and found no evidence to support Santos' claim.) Launching a firm called the Devolder Organization, which he says managed $80 million in assets. (There are no records of the firm and Santos' disclosures did not reveal any clients.) Creating a charity called "Friends of Pets United." (Santos charged $50 for entry to a fundraiser, but the event's beneficiary says they never received any of the funds and the IRS was not able to find any record showing that the group held the tax-exempt status.) Getting a 'free turkey' at a Plainview, New York grocery store, but having to spend $237.91 to feed eight people on Thanksgiving.
(Santos blamed the "Biden economy" for the high cost of the meal.) Image: Pixabay