George Santos: The truth about Republican ‘fraud’ and what the future holds for him | US News
“George, can you physically not stop lying?”
This was the latest version of the US Congressman George Santos scandal on Saturday Night Live.
An American politician has found himself at the center of a web of extraordinary revelations and allegations regarding everything from his legacy to a job he simply never held.
Critics call him a “total fraud” and are accused of fabricating parts of his resume while running for Congress. Although he denies some of the allegations made against him, he admitted that some of his claims were lies.
Despite the media furore, only a “handful” of his fellow Republicans are currently calling for him to leave. In an interview with Sky News, the political strategist links his behavior to the “Trump effect.”
Here is a summary of Mr. Santos’ statements, how we got here and what might happen next for the controversial congressman.
Who is George Santos?
This seems like a simple question, but it’s getting harder and harder to get a straight answer. Here’s what we know for sure.
The 34-year-old Brazilian-American was elected to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district in November 2022, becoming the first openly gay Republican to win a seat in the House of Representatives as an inactive president.
Although his victory created a buzz around Capitol Hill, it was soon overshadowed by accusations on his resume that began in December.
An investigation by the New York Times uncovered a number of false claims made by Mr. Santos on his resume, including lies about his education and previous jobs.
From there everything is unraveled.
His answers were also different. He admitted that some of them were lies, rejected others, and abandoned some.
He is a Jew, not a Jew
Mr. Santos made controversial remarks about being Jewish, participating in a drag show in Brazil, and the circumstances of his mother’s death.
So let’s start with his legacy.
After his victory, he told a Republican Jewish Coalition summit, the election means “there will now be three” Jewish Republican members of Congress.
But then after that, he backed off and told the New York Post that he “never claimed to be Jewish” and said he was a Catholic, adding, “Because I found out that my maternal family was of Jewish ancestry, I said that I “Jew”. “
He said 9/11 “took the life of his mother” – records show she was out of the country.
It’s also quite confusing when you look at the conflicting reports about the death of Mr. Santos’ mother, Fatima Caruso Devolder.
Running for Congress in 2021, Mr. Santos tweeted that the 9/11 attack in New York “took the life of his mother.”
However, on his campaign website, Mr. Santos said his mother was in her office in the South Tower on the day of the attack, but “survived” and died “a few years” later of cancer.
However, records obtained by NBC News, a subsidiary of Sky, and Washington Post reports citing immigration records suggest that Ms Devolder was not even living in the US at the time of the attack, but was actually living in Rio de Janeiro.
Since then, he has not publicly commented on it.
“Sue me for my life”
Now about one of latest statements about congressman’s performance at drag show.
The Brazilian performer, who uses the pseudonym Yula Roshar, told Reuters that she became friends with the current congressman in 2005 in Brazil.
She said that in 2008 he competed in a beauty pageant in Rio de Janeiro under the pseudonym Kitara Rawache.
While the congressman first called the reports “categorically false” on Twitter, when he was confronted by the camera, he told US channel ABC7: “I was young and I had fun at the festival – sue me for living “.
Political strategist Reena Shah said only a “handful” of Republicans are calling for Mr. Santos’ resignation, and his behavior echoes the “Trump effect.”
A former senior staffer for two Republican members of Congress called him a “con man.”
She told Sky News: “The situation certainly highlights the effect of Donald Trump. The influence of the 45th President, the real style of running, to just make regular boast statements, which was just not true and turned out not to be true. .”
She added that Santos “adopted” the style “in a defiant manner that says, ‘Come and get me, because even if you try to get me, I’ll just keep lying about it.’
Despite the lies, Ms Shah said that no senior Republican would take action against him because they “cannot afford to lose” his seat in the House of Representatives.
Republicans won a slim majority in the House after the midterm elections, and she warned that removing Mr. Santos could jeopardize the seat.
He didn’t work on Wall Street
As the long list of accusations against Mr. Santos grows, he has admitted to lying about some things.
Mr. Santos said on his campaign website that he had a financial career working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, but the NYT investigation found that none of those institutions had any record of his work.
He admitted to lying about his education and positions at two firms, and told the New York Post: “My sins are embellishing my resume. I’m really sorry”.
Stealing from a disabled veteran
But there are instances where Mr. Santos has vehemently denied certain claims.
He denied a charge by veteran Richard Osthoff who accused him of swindling him out of $3,000 from a GoFundMe campaign page set up for his dying service dog in 2016.
Mr. Oosthoff told news site Patch he was told that Anthony Devolder, one of the names Mr. Santos used before entering politics, has a pet charity called Friends of Pets United.
He claimed that Mr. Devolder closed the page and disappeared after the fundraiser. Mr. Santos angrily denied the reports and called them “shocking and insane”.
How is his “lie” different?
While some might argue that lying in politics isn’t new, one psychologist who specializes in the study of lies and deceit explains why Santos’ claims and allegations may seem a little different.
Dr. Chris Hart, professor of psychology at Texas Woman’s University, told Sky News: “If we look at the lies that most politicians tell, they are often exaggerations and half-truths. has absolutely no basis in reality, and this is what makes it different.
“The frequency with which he seems to speak to them is a bit surprising compared to other politicians.”
“I will NOT retire”
The revelations of Mr. Santos’ lies and allegations against him sparked anger among Democrats, who called him a “total fraud” and called for him to step down.
House Democratic Leader Hakim Jeffreys said he was a “total fraud” and “cheated and condoned his promotion to Congress.”
Despite calls from some Republicans and Democrats, Mr. Santos has repeatedly refused to step down.
At the moment, he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.