Long Island Rep.-elect George Santos has finally admitted that he lied on the campaign trail about working at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and went to CUNY Baruch College, describing it as "resume embellishment." However, he stressed that the controversy won't stop him from serving out his two-year term in Congress.
Santos, 34, came under intense scrutiny for weeks after it was reported that the Long Island representative-elect had made a number of false statements. Concerns persisted regarding the institution Santos claimed to have attended as well as his employment history with renowned Wall Street companies. However, he finally opened up on Monday saying that several of his claims were false.
Admitting His Lies
In a surprising revelation on Monday, the Republican candidate admitted to "embellishing" important elements on his CV and said he was "sorry." Up until today, he had not publicly addressed the matter.
"I am not a criminal," Santos told the New York Post. "This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good."
"My sins here are embellishing my resume. I'm sorry," Santos told the outlet on Monday.
Despite claiming on his resume to have done so, the soon-to-be congressman acknowledged that he had "never worked directly" for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
Santos actually earned $15 per hour working at a contact center on a quiet industrial avenue in Queens, New York rather than on Wall Street prior to entering politics.
Although he had previously claimed to hold a degree from Baruch in 2010, he has since admitted that he never graduated from any college.
Santos is now claiming that both of the financial behemoths did business with a company named Link Bridge, where he served as vice president.
"I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly," Santos said of the lie.
According to Santos, he assisted Link Bridge in facilitating "capital introductions" between clients and investors, and his company negotiated with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup as "LPS, Limited Partnerships."
"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."
Despite the fibs, Santos insisted he is "not a criminal" and continued to assure voters of his "legislative success".
Everything's a Lie
Santos, who was elected to Congress on November 8 to represent the third District, which includes Long Island and Queens, was also accused of lying about his ancestry. His mother was Jewish, and during World War II, his grandparents managed to flee the Nazis, according to information on his campaign website.
He now claims, however, that he is "clearly Catholic" and that his grandmother had told him tales of her own conversion from Judaism to Catholicism. I never claimed to be Jewish, Santos stated to the New York Post.
"I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was 'Jew-ish.'"
The Daily Beast revealed last week that Santos was previously married to a woman up until he launched his unsuccessful 2020 campaign against Democrat Tom Suozzi. Santos was the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to the House. He also faced accusations that he lied about his sexual orientation.
The soon-to-be politician admitted to having been married to a woman for roughly five years, from 2012 until his divorce in 2017, but stated that he is now a happily married homosexual guy. He confirmed this to the New York Post on Monday.
"I dated women in the past. I married a woman. It's personal stuff," Santos said, adding that the relationship "got a little toxic."
"I'm very much gay," he said during the interview. "I'm OK with my sexuality. People change. I'm one of those people who change."
Santos also admitted to being a deadbeat renter in Sunnyside, Queens, and that he had attempted to pass a check that bounced. The Times reported that Santos was ordered by a judge to pay more than $12,000 to a former landlord who claimed non-payment of several months' rent.
On Monday, Santos stated that his family had a significant medical debt due to his mother's cancer treatment at the time of the complaint. "We were engulfed in debt. We had issues paying rent at the time. It's the vulnerability of being human. I am not embarrassed by it," he said.
Santos acknowledged the verdict against him and said that his mother passed away from cancer on December 23, 2016, after having lived with him in the Queens apartment.
However, he never paid the arrears. "We didn't pay it off. I completely forgot about it," he admitted.
His lies are countless. Apart from admitting all these he also acknowledged lying when he said he owned 13 different properties and said he is now living with his sister in Huntington but plans to buy a home of his own.
"George Santos does not own any properties," he said.
Santos was resolute in his denial of a claim made by The Times that he was the subject of an unnamed criminal charge in Brazil. "I am not a criminal here – not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world," Santos said. "Absolutely not. That didn't happen."
Concerns that his fabrications may limit his ability to effectively serve New Yorkers in the lower house in the coming year were downplayed by the newly elected congressman.
"I campaigned talking about the people's concerns, not my resume," Santos told The Post.
"I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign — fighting crime, fighting to lower inflation, improving education," he added, saying that "The people elected me to fight for them."
Besides, Santos said that his Devolder consultancy company is responsible for the $11 million in assets listed in his financial disclosure report he submitted in September.