New York Republican Rep.-elect George Santos admitted on Monday to lying during his campaign about his work experience and education, according to reports.
Santos, who will represent a portion of Long Island in the House of Representatives, made the confession during an interview with the New York Post, though he insisted the lies would not stop him from serving his full two-year term as a congressman.
‘I am not a criminal,’ he told the post during the exclusive interview. ‘This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.’
With just weeks until he takes the oath of office, Santos’ professional resume and his religious affiliation have come under scrutiny.
He wrote in his campaign biography that his grandparents were born in Ukraine and escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to Belgium before fleeing again to Brazil, leading some to question whether he was in fact Jewish as he claimed.
And last week, the New York Times reported that claims made by Santos about being employed in the financial industry and working for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup could not be verified.
While speaking with the Post on Monday, Santos confessed that he ‘never worked directly’ for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, suggesting that he probably could have used a better choice of words.
Instead, Santos said, he worked for Link Bridge, which did business with both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
In his role with Link Bridge, Santos claimed he helped make ‘capital introductions’ between investors and clients, the Post reported, and the two financial institutions were limited partnerships Link Bridge worked with.
Santos also told the Post he never graduated from college, despite saying he received a degree in 2010 from Baruch.
‘I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,’ he told the Post. ‘I own up to that…We do stupid things in life.’
Santos said he is Catholic, though his grandmother told him stories about being Jewish and converting to Catholicism, he claimed.
As an openly gay man, Santos was accused of not being gay because he was married to a woman until 2020. Santos addressed those claims with the Post on Monday as well, saying he was married to a woman for five years but is now married to a gay man.
He also confessed to being a deadbeat tenant in Sunnyside, Queens, adding his mother’s illness put the family into deep medical debt.
Santos’ campaign team did not immediately respond to a request for additional information regarding his claims.