Gay Republican George Santos invokes Winston Churchill while defending himself from lie claims
Gay Republican George Santos, who was elected last month to serve Long Island, has come under fire for alleged fabrication of his résumé.
The New York Republican who claimed he was the “full embodiment of the American dream” in his running could have amplified a fictional story, according to The New York Times.
According to analysis by the publication, Santos, who is a first-generation Brazilian-American, may not have worked at Citigroup or Goldman Sachs and he may not have graduated from a New York college, or run a pet rescue charity.
In fact, the publication managed to pull apart most of Santos’ claims, including that his family owned a portfolio of 13 properties.
The Times instead found one one apartment in Rio de Janeiro and further disproved that the 34-year-old is an owner of a corporation earning him $750,000 (£616,000) and millions in dividends yearly.
In an interview Santos said his company, the Devolder Organization, had “lost four employees” at the devastating 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, which saw 49 people killed and 53 left wounded.
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Following a check of the victims, The Times found none of them were connected to Santos’ company.
Further revelations uncovered by The Times include linking Santos’ name to 2010 criminal charges for check fraud in Brazil. The charges related to using a stolen check book to buy shoes, and two eviction proceedings against him in New York over the past seven years.
During his successful campaign for Congress, Santos proved himself to be a Trump supporter which helped him secure votes during the midterm elections from suburban voters.
But during his campaign he spent a considerable amount of money, The Times discovered.
According to the publication, Santos’ campaign spending disclosures show that he spent around $40,000 (£32,864) on flights and more than $17,000 (£13,967) in Florida. The latter amount included a stay at the Breakers, a luxury hotel and resort close to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Santos’ statement in response to the accusations haven’t denied any of the allegations.
In a statement posted to Twitter his lawyer, Joseph Murray, dismissed the story and said that it was “no surprise that congressman-elect Santos has enemies at the New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations”.
The response added: “As Winston Churchill famously stated, ‘you have enemies? Good. It means that you’ve stood up for something, sometime in life”.
According to the Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact, the quote is misattributed to Churchill, and actually appears 1845 essay titled “Villemain” by Victor Hugo that predates the British leader.
Robert Zimmerman, the Democratic opponent Santos defeated, told the Washington Post the story was “not a shock”.
He added: “We always knew he was running a scam against the voters, and we raised many of these issues but were drowned out” by a simultaneous election for governor, among other things.”
Citigroup and Goldman Sachs confirmed to The Times that they had no record of Santos working there.
Baruch College also found no record of Santa studying there, while the Internal Revenue Service said it was unable to find a record for animal rescue group — Friends of Pets United — which Santos claimed he’d run for five years from 2013.
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