US congressman-elect admits to fabricating resume
Republican Congressman-elect George Santos has owned up to fabricating details about his work and school experience while on the campaign trail, accepting that he lied about his career after the New York Times revealed several inconsistencies in his statements.
Speaking to the New York Post on Monday, Santos confessed that he invented major details about his life, including claims he worked for financial firms Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and that he graduated from Baruch College, where he said he received a degree in 2010.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume,” he told the outlet, adding “I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume. I own up to that … We do stupid things in life.”
The 34-year-old congressman-elect maintained that confusion about his employment history was due to a “poor choice of words” on his part, however. He now states that while he never worked for Goldman or Citigroup, he did do business with a company which dealt with those firms. “I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly,” he continued.
Set to be the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican in the House, Santos won a congressional seat in the midterm election in November, running unopposed to represent areas of Queens and Long Island. Though he appeared to face little scrutiny during the race, a Times story published last week indicated Santos’ resume “may be largely fiction,” with the newspaper failing to corroborate a number of claims made on the campaign trail.
In addition to his career and educational credentials, Santos was also accused of lying about his own heritage, having previously claimed to be both a “nonobservant Jew” as well as a Catholic. Despite those comments, he told the Post that he “never claimed to be Jewish,” and is “clearly Catholic,” again chalking up the issue to word choice.
“Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish,’” Santos added.
The incoming lawmaker also admitted that he was not honest about owning more than a dozen properties around New York, instead saying he currently stays with his sister and owns no real estate. However, he insisted that he has never faced criminal charges, denying an allegation contained in the Times report, which suggested Santos confessed to theft and fraud while living in Brazil as a teenager.
“I am not a criminal here – not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely not. That didn’t happen,” he said.
Even after opening up about his numerous falsehoods to the voting public, Santos went on to voice hopes that “this [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success,” vowing to be an “effective” and “good” lawmaker.