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Where did all that money come from?
GOP Congressman-Elect George Santos flipped control of New York’s 3rd district in November by touting a long resume of impressive Wall Street and academic accomplishments. He said that he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from New York’s Baruch College in 2010 and that he later spent time at New York University. Plus, he enjoyed an illustrious financial career that included work at Citigroup, where he said he “quickly advanced to become an associate asset manager in the real asset division of the firm,” and another stint at Goldman Sachs. Plus, he said he was Jewish, the descendant of Holocaust survivors.
Turns out, according to a New York Times report from December 19, and subsequent reports from several other outlets, none of it was true. He never graduated from those universities, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs “had no record” of Santos ever working there, and historians can’t find any records of Jewish lineage in the Santos’ family tree.
After the bombshell report, Santos promised that he would clarify things this week. That happened Monday, when, in interviews with the New York Post and WABC radio, he flipped his story and admitted he lied about his resume. “My sins here are embellishing my resume, I’m sorry,” he told the Post. “I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume…We do stupid things in life.”
As for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, Santos said he did not work for them directly, but that he did work with these companies through a third company, called Link Bridge. On his brief apology tour, he chalked the discrepancy up to a “poor choice of words.”
Then there were the lies about his family’s religious and ethnic origins. New York’s newly redrawn 3rd district, which had been represented by retiring Democrat Tom Suozzi, includes northern Long Island and northeast Queens—areas with many Jewish residents. Santos’ campaign website formerly described his maternal grandparents as having “fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII.”
However, after the Times story appeared, multiple Jewish-led publications dug up records that contradicted his claims. The Forward reported that Santos’ maternal grandparents were both born in Brazil before the Nazis rose to power; Jewish Insider interviewed a Brazilian historian who said none of Santos’ maternal ancestors “suggest any closeness to Judaism.”
In attempting to explain this to the Post on Monday, he argued that he was not misrepresenting anything but was merely misunderstood. He “never claimed to be Jewish,” he said, instead, he had described himself as “Jew-ish,” presumably to demonstrate his solidarity with the Jewish people.