It can be difficult to keep track of the list of fiction that George Santos has been accused of telling, admitting to telling, or simply caught in the act following a contradictory statement.
But do not worry : The Independent is here, and we’re keeping track of the entire list of lies even as it continues to grow – both in number and in the scale of humiliation it presents not just for Mr. Santos, who remains adamant that he will serve two years in office as a representative for New York’s Third District, but for the House Republican caucus as a whole.
Let’s dive into all the fabrications, fictions, lies, lies and “embellishments” that Mr. Santos has told (so far):
He went to prep school
Mr. Santos claimed in a campaign biography during his failed congressional bid in 2020 (in the same district) that he briefly attended a prestigious preparatory school in New York.
“He started Horace Mann Preparatory School in the Bronx, but did not graduate from Horace Mann due to financial hardship for his family,” the biography reads.
As you might expect, Horace Mann officials said there was no record of his presence. Mr. Santos did not respond to the discovery of this apparent fabrication.
He went to college
Our first, and one of the first lies discovered by The New York Times and other news outlets, is Mr. Santos’ claim that he earned degrees from NYU and Baruch College, another New York-based school.
In the end, not only did he not graduate from either school, but officials from both said there was no record of him attending under any alias. Mr Santos has now admitted it, attributing it to the effort to make his resume more impressive.
He worked in banks
Another from the original dispatch: Mr. Santos did not, in fact, work at either Citigroup or Goldman Sachs. He has now admitted that too was a fiction: instead he claims to have worked for both banks through a third company, although he has provided no evidence to support this claim.
What we do know is that an investment firm he founded in May 2021 suddenly got rich, bringing in millions of dollars for Mr Santos, without a degree, whose employment history remains murky. He has yet to explain how this company he founded (and closed in 2022 after failing to file paperwork) worked or made his millions in such a short time – or how he made his connections in the world. ‘industry.
He ran a charity
The political newcomer not only claimed to be an ex-banker but also an animal lover: Mr Santos previously claimed to have founded a charity group called Friends of Pets United, taking credit for supposedly saving thousands of dogs and cats. But no IRS records of the group could be found, and Mr. Santos himself even renounced the claim that he founded the group, later telling reporters that he did not campaign only for the group and had tried to find foster homes for some animals.
He is Jewish and his grandparents fled the Holocaust
It becomes nearly impossible to count every time Mr. Santos has been accused of telling various audiences that he is Jewish. The Republican Jewish Coalition says he presented himself as Jewish, and he made public comments to that effect in interviews. Then there was the position paper uncovered by Axios in which he simply refers to himself as an “American Jew”, removing any doubt as to what he said.
Nonetheless, in a recent interview with Fox News, he insisted he hadn’t lied and in fact called himself a “Jew” – an explanation that seemed to have been taken straight from a weekend update to joke.
Not only did he make it clear that he was a Catholic, but the geneologists contacted by the front said there was no evidence to prove his other past claims on the matter; namely that his grandparents on his mother’s side escaped the Holocaust. They were born in Brazil.
He knew the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting
Among many other claims, Mr Santos told WNYC last year that he personally “lost” four of his employees in the 2016 Pulse nightclub tragedy.
It was later determined by news reports that no one on the list of those killed in the mass shooting was identifiable as employees of a company owned by Mr. Santos.
The congressman-elect then changed his story to say that in fact, they hadn’t been officially hired yet – the four unnamed people were all believed to be new hires.
There is no proof of that either.
He owns real estate
During the 2020 campaign, Santos told voters he owned more than a dozen rental properties in New York state. Turns out that’s not true: he said New York City and State that he “actually does not own any property”. Some may belong to his family, but at most he had use of them.
His mother died twice
This one easily takes the crown for the “weirdest” lie told so far. In a tweet discovered by reporters on Wednesday, Mr Santos claimed his mother died in the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York’s Twin Towers.
Then he sent another tweet, five months later. In this message, his mother had a new time of death: December 23, 2016.
Although Mr. Santos has not admitted to this lie or addressed it publicly, it is reasonably safe to say that his mother has not returned from the dead.
His apartment was robbed
In an affidavit to Housing Court in 2016, Mr Santos claimed he was assaulted on his way to pay hundreds of dollars in back rent to his Queens landlord during a deportation case. The New York City Police Department has no record of such an attack.
A report from the New York outlet gothamistrevealed that Mr Santos had written that he had been assaulted on his way to deliver a rent check to the Housing Court in Queens on January 15, 2016 in a bid to resolve his case.
The Republican wrote that he was “unable to provide a police report” and was told to return to police several days later to collect one, according to a sworn affidavit.
Mr. Santos had to pay $2,250 in back rent for his apartment in Queens.
An NYPD spokesperson told the outlet that there was nothing on file regarding Mr. Santos’ claims.
Alex Woodward contributed to this report