George Santos: Newly elected Republican admits to lying about his background but insists he won’t step down
Newly elected Republican George Santos has admitted to a number of falsehoods about his job experience and college education while campaigning for a seat in the House of Representatives.
In an interview with the New York Post, the Long Island Representative-elect came clean on Monday amid allegations of faking his resume.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” he was quoted as saying to the outlet.
At another point in the interview Mr Santos said: “I am not a criminal. This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
Mr Santos won Long Island’s Nassau County seat in Congress in November’s midterm elections.
He had stated during campaign events that he had graduated from Baruch College, worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and managed a family-based real estate company.
However, the NYT found he misrepresented a number of claims, including where he attended college and his alleged employment history with high-profile Wall Street firms.
Mr Santos said that he had “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and said that it was “poor choice of words”.
He has now claimed that a company called LinkBridge Investors, where he worked as a vice president, did business with both the financial giants.
“I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly,” he said.
The Republican also admitted to not have attended college.
“I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” he said. “I own up to that… We do stupid things in life.”
Multiple insiders said to the New York Post that the GOP leadership had hoped that while they were aware of the inaccuracies, voters would work them out.
“As far as questions about George in general, that was always something that was brought up whenever we talked about this race,” a senior GOP leadership aide told the outlet.
“It was a running joke at a certain point. This is the second time he’s run and these issues we assumed would be worked out by the voters.”
Last week Democrats branded the newly-elected Republican a “complete and utter fraud” unfit for office.
A top Republican in Nassau County said earlier this week that Mr Santos “deserved an opportunity” to clear his name.
In a statement to CNN, Joseph G Cairo Jr, the Nassau County Republican Committee chairman, said: “While issues that have been raised in a December 19th NYT article are serious, I believe that George Santos deserves an opportunity to address the claims detailed in the article, which have been repeated by other news sources.”