House GOP leaders won't say if they stand by newly elected member who fabricated resume

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Republican Rep.-elect George Santos lied about where he worked, his business ventures, his education, and more, according to a report by the New York Times.

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have not said whether they stand by a newly elected member of their caucus who lied about much of his past experience.

A New York Times report published Monday morning found Rep.-elect George Santos (R-NY) told so many lies that it's unclear what, if anything, in his background is true.

Santos lied about having worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs; about receiving degrees from Baruch College and New York University; about creating an animal rescue charity; about being a landlord; and about having once employed four survivors of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, according to the New York Times.

In actuality, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have no record that they ever employed Santos; Baruch College and NYU have no records Santos ever attended; supposed beneficiaries of Santos' animal rescue charity said they never received the donations Santos promised; and there are no records Santos owned any properties in New York, despite his claim that he owned 13 properties that he was owed rent on, the New York Times reported. In fact, the news outlet found, Santos faced eviction for owing thousands in unpaid rent.

What's more, the New York Times reported that Santos was charged in Brazil in 2008 after he confessed to making fraudulent purchases with a checkbook he stole.

The American Independent Foundation reached out to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise to ask whether they stand by Santos and whether they think someone who lied about almost his entire past is fit to serve in Congress. They did not return the requests for comment.

The American Independent Foundation also reached out to the National Republican Congressional Committee to ask whether it knew about Santos' fabricated resume during his campaign and whether the NRCC still stands by Santos and believes Santos should serve if his resume is a lie. The NRCC did not respond.

Santos won New York's 3rd Congressional District, which comprises part of the north shore of Long Island, in November, defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman by almost 9 points.

Zimmerman told the Washington Post that he's not surprised by the report that Santos fabricated his resume.

"This story is not a shock to me," Zimmerman told the Washington Post's Azi Paybarah. "We always knew he was running a scam against the voters and we raised many of these issues but were drowned out in the gov’s race where crime was the focus and the media had other priorities."

Santos, who is the first openly gay nonincumbent Republican to win a House seat, is an election denier who said he was on the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, at the rally that preceded the violent and deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol with the encouragement of former President Donald Trump.

"That was the most amazing crowd," Santos said of the rally, which was based on the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. "And the president was at his full awesomeness that day."

Earlier this month, Santos attended a conservative gala in New York with right-wing figures including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who said the Jan. 6 rioters should have been armed.

“And I want to tell you something, if [former Trump aide] Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won,” Greene said at the event. “Not to mention, it would have been armed.”

It's unclear whether Santos will face any disciplinary action for his alleged lies. Republicans will hold a narrow five-seat House majority in the new Congress.

If he sticks around, Santos will likely be a top Democratic target in the 2024 election. President Joe Biden carried New York's 3rd District by 9 points in 2020, making it one of 18 districts Biden carried that Republicans will hold next year.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.