(NewsNation) — New York Republican George Santos who was elected to Congress last month has admitted to embellishing his resume after an investigation by the New York Times revealed several discrepancies.
In an interview with the New York Post, Representative-elect George Santos apologized for fabricating parts of his bio, including where he went to school and worked. However, he also said the controversy won’t stop him from staying in Congress.
“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.”
The New York Times reported about Santos’ misrepresentations earlier this month, and even before that, a local newspaper had questioned Santos’ background.
According to his website, Santos is the first-generation American son of Brazilian immigrants, born in Queens, New York and he is the first openly gay Republican to win the U.S. House seat. Santos, on his website, claims he is a seasoned Wall Street financier and investor. He claims to have had stints at Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and MetGlobal.
The incoming congressman-elect previously said he worked at Citigroup after college, rising to an associate asset manager in the company’s real estate division. But The New York Times reports that a Citigroup spokeswoman said they could not confirm that Santos ever worked there. She reportedly said she was unfamiliar with the job title Santos claimed to have held since Citigroup sold its asset management operation in 2005, before the years he claimed to have worked there.
A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs also told The New York Times there is no record of Santos working for them, either.
Santos told The New York Post that he never worked directly for the Wall Street firms, but instead worked for a company called Link Bridge that did business with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
“I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly,” Santos said.
He also claims to have graduated from Baruch College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance, but the Times found that the school could not find any records of anyone matching his name or date of birth.
Santos now admits that he never graduated from any college.
He’s also accused of lying about his family background. He stated on his campaign website that his mother was Jewish and his grandparents fled the Nazis during World War II.
Santos told the New York Post his grandmother told stories about being Jewish and later converting to Catholicism.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos said. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.'”
Two people who knew Santos previously appeared on NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live” to discuss the Times report.
Democrat Robert Zimmerman lost to Santos in the midterm. He said the report was “validating” to many questions and issues that were raised during the campaign.
“A lot of the questions and information were out there. The Times had, of course, the ability to take it to another level with their excellent investigative journalism,” Zimmerman said.
Grant Lally serves as the attorney for the North Shore Leader, which broke parts of the story on Santos in September.
“He (Santos) makes up stories and just looks people in the eye and lies to them. And he did that to local elected officials, local Republican activists. People smelled this and they caught him in his lies. A lot of the local Republicans, and I’m a Republican, refused to have pictures with him because he was such a, as one elected official put it, a pathological liar,” Lally said.
NewsNation writer Caitlyn Shelton and anchor Dan Abrams contributed to this report.