It can be difficult to keep up with the list of fictions that George Santos has been accused of telling, admitted to telling, or simply caught red-handed following a contradicting statement.
But do not worry: The independent is here, and we’re keeping track of the entire list of lies even as it continues to grow, both in number and in the sheer scale of the humiliation it presents not only for Mr. Santos, who remains adamant that he will serve two years in office as Representative for New York’s Third District, but for the Republican House caucus as a whole.
Let’s dive into every fabrication, sham, outright lie, and “embellishment” that Mr. Santos has told (so far):
He went to elementary school
Mr. Santos said in a campaign biography during his failed 2020 run for Congress (in the same district) that he briefly attended a prestigious elementary school in New York.
“He started Horace Mann Preparatory School in the Bronx, however, did not graduate from Horace Mann due to financial hardships for his family,” the bio reads.
As you might expect, Horace Mann officials said there was no record of his participation. Mr. Santos did not respond to the discovery of this apparent invention.
He went to college
Our first, and one of the major series of lies uncovered by The New York Times and other news outlets, is Mr. Santos’s claim that he holds degrees from New York University and Baruch College, another New York City-based school.
Apparently, not only did he not graduate from either school, but officials at both said there was no record of him attending under an alias. Mr. Santos has now admitted as much, attributing it to an effort to make his resume more impressive.
Worked at banks
Another from the initial dispatch: Mr. Santos has apparently not worked for either Citigroup or Goldman Sachs. Now he has admitted that this too was a fiction: he claims instead that he worked for the two banks through a third company, although he has provided no evidence to support this claim.
What we do know is that an investment firm he founded in May of 2021 has shot into sudden wealth, bringing millions of dollars to the college-less Mr. Santos, whose employment history remains obscure. He has yet to explain how this company he founded (and shut down in 2022 after failing to file records) operated or made millions in such a short period, or how he established his industry contacts.
He ran a charity
The political newcomer claimed not only to be a former banker, but also an animal lover: Mr Santos previously claimed he founded a charity group called Friends of Pets United, taking credit for allegedly saving thousands of dogs and cats. But no IRS record of the group could be found, and Santos himself even walked away from the claim that he founded the group, later telling reporters that he only campaigned for the group and tried to find foster homes for some animals.
He is Jewish and his grandparents fled the Holocaust
It is becoming nearly impossible to count how many times Mr. Santos has been accused of saying at various hearings that he is Jewish. The Republican Jewish Coalition claims he has presented himself to them as a Jew, and has made public comments to that effect in interviews. Then there was the position paper discovered by Axios in which he simply refers to himself as an “American Jew,” removing any doubts about what he said.
However, in a recent interview with Fox News he insisted that he hadn’t lied, and in fact only referred to himself as a “Jew” – an explanation that seemed to have been plucked directly from a Weekend update joke.
Not only did he clarify that he was actually Catholic, geneologists contacted by The Forward he said there was no evidence to substantiate his other past claims on the matter; namely, that his grandparents on his mother’s side escaped the Holocaust. They were born in Brazil.
Owns real estate
During the 2020 campaign, Santos told voters that he owns more than a dozen rental properties across New York state. It turns out that’s not true: he said City and State of New York who actually “doesn’t own any property”. Some may be owned by his family, but at most he has had use.
His mother died twice
This one easily takes the crown for the “most bizarre” lie told so far. In a tweet uncovered by reporters Wednesday, Mr. Santos claimed that his mother had died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York’s Twin Towers.
Then he sent another tweet, five months later. In that message, her mother had a new time of death: December 23, 2016.
While Mr. Santos has not admitted to this lie or addressed it publicly, it is reasonably safe to say that his mother has not returned from the dead.