Embattled freshman Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., doubled down on staying in Congress amid calls from several of his fellow Republicans to step down, giving a cryptic answer as to a resignation question.
Santos told the press on Wednesday that he would not resign amid the scandals surrounding his resume, heritage, international criminal record, and personal history.
On Thursday, when asked by the press for a response to his colleagues calling on him to resign, Santos doubled down and said he will stay in Congress – with a condition.
‘If 142 people ask for me to resign, I’ll resign,’ Santos said. The congressman later explained the puzzling figure when asked by Fox News.
Santos clarified that he was referring to the ‘142,000 people who voted’ for him in the midterm elections.
Four of Santos’ fellow House Republicans have called on the embattled freshman to resign.
First-term GOP Reps. Brandon Williams, Anthony D’Esposito, Nick Langworthy, and Nick LaLota all called on Santos to leave Congress amid the massive scandal. Santos is facing calls for investigations from the federal to the local level for his duping of voters and allegations he possibly violated federal campaign finance laws.
The campaign finance allegations so far centered on $705,000 Santos donated to his own campaign from purported income earned through Devolder, LLC., a consulting business he founded in 2021, suggesting he could have disguised campaign contributions made by unknown individuals or corporations, according to a federal watchdog complaint.
The Nassau County GOP in New York also called for Santos to resign, with the congressman refusing.
Santos’ resume and background came under fire after the 2022 midterm elections when it was revealed he was not actually Jewish nor did his grandparents survive the Holocaust. His Baruch College resume as well as his employment history at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were both found to be entirely fabricated.
Santos’ claimed animal welfare charity also might not exist, as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records have no results for Santos’ claimed nonprofit Friends of Pets United.
Additionally, amid the political turmoil, Santos is facing renewed fraud allegations in Brazil with charges arising from a stolen checkbook.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace, Tyler Olson and Kelly Phares contributed reporting.