Rep.-elect George Santos, R-N.Y., admitted Monday that he lied about his job experience, college education, and about being Jewish during his successful campaign for a seat in the U.S. House.
In an interview with the New York Post, Santos said: “My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry.”
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Echoing false claims of American Indian ancestry from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Santos admitted he embellished family stories of ethnic persecution.
The Forward, a news outlet serving a Jewish American audience, had questioned a claim on Santos’ campaign website that his grandparents “fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII.”
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos told the Post. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”
Last week, The New York Times raised questions about the life story that Santos, 34, had presented during his campaign.
“I campaigned talking about the people’s concerns, not my resume,” he told the Post. “I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign.”
The Queens resident had said he had obtained a degree from Baruch College in New York, but the school said that couldn’t be confirmed.
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On Monday, Santos acknowledged: “I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume.”
He added: “I own up to that … We do stupid things in life.”
Santos had also said he had worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, but neither company could find any records verifying that.
Santos told the NY Post he had “never worked directly” for either financial firm, saying he had used a “poor choice of words.”
He told the NY Post that Link Bridge, an investment company where he was a vice president, did business with both.
Santos first ran for Congress in 2020 and lost. He ran again in 2022 and won in the district that includes some Long Island suburbs and a small part of Queens.
The Associated Press contributed to this article