After admitting he defrauded voters, George Santos blames "elitists" for making him lie
Oh, and did he grift his own mother's funeral too?
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Last night George Santos, the Republican elected to the House on Long Island who was revealed to have lied about his entire background, gave several interviews in which he offered, as he’d promised last week, his “story.”
In the interviews with the New York Post, WABC radio and City and State NY — all outlets that have been friendly to him — he alternated between admitting he lied in some instances, to doubling down on the lies in others. He mostly called what he did “embellishment,” and at one point, “a bit of fluff” on his resume.
This is a man who never worked at Citigroup or Goldman Sachs, as he claimed. Never got a degree from Baruch College and New York University, as he claimed. And never was a landlord with 31 properties, as he claimed.
All those lies he admitted — though he tried to couch the employment claims as almost true, saying he didn’t “directly” work for those companies but worked for a company that did business with them.
Seriously? Oh yes. He also admitted that a company he owned didn’t “lose four employees” in the Pulse nightclub shooting, as he’d claimed in a radio interview, but that the company — which he didn’t name and apparently hadn’t even opened for business yet — had hired people who were about to work at the company and who died at Pulse. Again, no names of the people or the company.
About his marriage to a woman in 2012, after he said he was “openly gay” for 10 years? Oh, it’s now his “private life,” he says, and “people change,” implying he wasn’t out of the closet at the time, which is a complete about face. But the woman, whom he divorced in 2019, seems to have gone into hiding, amid speculation that maybe he offered her citizenship via marriage — and one journalist described her as having been a longtime family “friend” from Brazil. He curiously told City and State that he and the woman were “pretty much” in love when they married. Not exactly sensing a resounding heartthrob there.
Oh, and Santos, who claimed his mother’s family survived the Holocaust and ran as a “Jewish Republican,” only to see all of that debunked by the Jewish Forward, now says that he meant he “was Jew-ish” but is “clearly Catholic.” That is both ludicrous and offensive. And already the Jewish Forward has obtained documents since that interview in which he called himself “a proud American Jew.”
GOP leaders apparently knew the whole time during the election that he was lying, and just laughed it off. Per the New York Post:
Senior House Republicans were apparently aware of the inaccuracies and embellishments in Santos' resume, and the topic became a 'running joke,' multiple insiders close to House GOP leadership told The Post over the weekend.
What made Santos lie? Liberals, of course.
From his interview with City and State NY:
I worked as a customer service agent...I'm not ashamed of it but the moment I put that on a resume elitists like the New York Times like to call blue collar jobs like that odd jobs because it doesn't fit their bourgeoisie lifestyles...
...It's those expectations and negative connotations from elitist organizations such as the New York Times, that lead people, like me, [to lie on our resumes.]
So much for the party of personal responsibility.
After claiming he was from a family that built a real estate business and lived high, Santos now is claiming in these interviews that he came from poverty. He didn’t explain other grifts he engaged in, like the animal rescue he founded for which he held fundraisers for which no news organization can find any evidence exists, as he took in money which appeared to go directly to him.
Over the weekend, it even became apparent he may have grifted his own mother’s funeral back in 2016 — when he was supposed to be dripping in money, working for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup or in real estate.
From CBS News:
CBS News has spoken with a pastor, Father Jose Carlos da Silva, of Saint Rita's Catholic Church, in Long Island City, Queens, who says he knew Santos' family, the Devolders, well. The Devolders came to the church once in a while, he told CBS News. The family, including George Santos, was Catholic, says da Silva.
“A memorial mass was held at the church [after his mother died from an illness and Santos told the priest he had no money for a funeral], which held a collection for the family. Da Silva said he didn't count the money collected, but recalled that the amount raised was significant, and that he handed the collection directly to Santos.
Yep, the cash was handed to right to Santos. And it turns out he even did a GoFundMe pitched as a fundraiser for his mother’s funeral.
Democrats are now calling for Santos to resign, and many prominent Democratic members of Congress were on social media last night condemning him and demanding he not be seated. But we know Kevin McCarthy needs the votes to be speaker, and would seat a serial killer right now for a vote. Santos is saying he will not step down.
Where he might get tripped up, however, is on his finances, which are all very shady and suggest he’s not been truthful with the FEC and on his personal financial disclosures. He went from being worth $5000 and making $55,000 a year in 2020, per his disclosure on his last run for Congress, to being worth $11 million and giving a “loan” to his campaign of between $600,000 and $700,000 in 2022, and giving donations to other Republicans in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Where did all of this money come from in a such a short period of time? He claims everything just clicked with his company, the Devolder Organization, and money just came rolling in. But why wasn’t it accounted for with the FEC?
Congressman-elect Daniel Goldman of New York, who was the lead counsel in Donald Trump’s first impeachment, tweeted out three potential crimes Santos may have committed and why he needs to be investigated:
Democrats have got to be relentless, as does the media. Santos has only had softball interviews so far in trying to explain himself, and even these friendly interviewers haven’t been able to help rehabilitate him and put this behind him. He’s surprisingly terrible at explaining his lies — for a grifter — and will crumble under real questioning.
Republicans like to talk about “voter fraud” — and yet here is something that is literally a defrauding of the voters. And they remain silent. I think they know more is going to come out. They’ll try to keep their heads down, but it’s going to be harder and harder, especially if investigations find Santos is guilty of crimes.