Speed Reads

'we do stupid things in life'

GOP congressman-elect George Santos admits lying about college, work history

Representative-elect George Santos, a Republican elected in November to represent parts of Long Island, New York, admitted on Monday that he lied about his education and work experience during his campaign.

"I am not a criminal," Santos, 34, told the New York Post. "This will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good."

While on the campaign trail, Santos shared with voters that he is an openly gay man and the son of Brazilian immigrants. He also said he graduated from Baruch College in 2010 and then became a "seasoned Wall Street financier and investor" who worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Last week, The New York Times published an investigation into Santos' background, and reported that officials at Baruch College could find no record of a person with his name and birthday graduating in 2010, and Citigroup and Goldman Sachs had no record of him working at either company.

The paper discovered that in 2010, Santos admitted to stealing the checkbook of a man his mother was caring for in Brazil; the Brazilian court and local prosecutor told the Times the case is unresolved. Santos also claimed that his unnamed company "lost four employees" in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, but the Times found that none of the victims appeared to have worked at any of the companies Santos lists in his biography. Santos declined requests from the Times to comment for the article.

"My sins here are embellishing my résumé," Santos told the Post. "I'm sorry." He "never worked directly for" Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, he continued, and saying that he did was "a poor choice of words." Santos said he worked for a company called Link Bridge as a vice president, and they did business with the financial firms.

Santos went on to admit he "didn't graduate from an institution of higher learning. I'm embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my résumé. I own up to that. ... We do stupid things in life." He also confirmed a Daily Beast report that he was married to a woman from 2012 to 2017, and said he is now happily married to his husband. "I dated women in the past," Santos told the Post. "I married a woman. It's personal stuff. I'm very much gay. I'm okay with my sexuality. People change. I'm one of those people who change."

Santos did dispute the Brazilian criminal charge, saying "that didn't happen," and said he intends to "deliver on the promises I made during the campaign — fighting crime, fighting to lower inflation, improving education. The people elected me to fight for them."

A senior House Republican aide told the Post that GOP leaders knew about the inaccuracies in Santos' résumé, and "it was a running joke at a certain point. This is the second time he's run and these issues we assumed would be worked out by the voters."