Rep.-elect George Santos (R-NY), considered by some to be a rising star for Republicans, has now admitted to fraudulently "embellishing" his resume and lying about various aspects of his background story, the Daily Caller reported.
Santos, elected in November by a wide margin, has since been exposed by multiple media outlets for having apparently lied to the public about his education, work experience, family history and heritage, criminal history, property ownership, and even his own sexual orientation, among other things.
"I am not a criminal," Santos told the New York Post in an exclusive interview. "This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good." He added, "My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry."
During the campaign, Santos claimed to have been a successful Wall Street investor who'd worked for several prominent firms, including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and that he'd received degrees in economics and finance from Baruch College and New York University.
He also claimed that his Jewish grandparents had fled anti-Semitic oppression in Europe and that he was an openly gay married man.
Except, as it turns out, those and other claims appear to be false, as The New York Times recently reported that Santos had never actually worked for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs, nor had he graduated from Baruch College.
Further, the Jewish outlet Forward reported that Santos' grandparents were not Jewish or from Europe, but instead were Catholics who were born and raised in Brazil long before the anti-Semitic Nazis rose to power in Germany and swept across much of Europe in World War II.
Then the Daily Beast exposed that, contrary to his claim of being openly gay, Santos had previously been married to a woman from whom he was divorced shortly before launching a previous unsuccessful run for elected office.
According to the New York Post, with regard to his claims about the investment firms, Santos has now admitted that he "never worked directly" for Citigroup of Goldman Sachs, but instead had worked with those firms while serving as vice president for a company called LinkBridge, and said of his inaccurate claimed work experience, "I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly."
As for his claimed education and obtained degrees, he acknowledged, "I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume," and added, "I own up to that … We do stupid things in life."
Santos further admitted that he is "clearly Catholic" but asserted that his grandmother had previously claimed to have converted from Judaism to Catholicism. "I never claimed to be Jewish," he said. "I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was 'Jew-ish.'"
Finally, he also admitted to the Post that he had previously been in a "toxic" marriage with a woman from 2012-2017, and said, "I dated women in the past. I married a woman. It’s personal stuff." He further stated, "I’m very much gay" and married to a man now, and added, "I’m OK with my sexuality. People change. I’m one of those people who change."
Spectrum News NY1 reported that New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced that her office will review Santos' alleged fabrications, but an attorney for Santos, Joseph Murray, has asserted that the claims against his client are nothing more than a "smear campaign."
"George Santos represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by -- a gay, Latino, first-generation American and Republican who won a Biden district in overwhelming fashion," Murray said in a statement. "It is no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at the New York Times."