Worked for top Wall Street firms
Santos confessed in a New York Post interview Monday to misrepresenting his work experience after he’d claimed to have worked directly with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
Santos said he’d used a “poor choice of words” in describing his relationship with the firms, as he’d merely done business with them through his work at another company, LinkBridge, where he served as vice president.
“I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly,” Santos said.
Graduated from Baruch College
Despite claiming that he’d gotten a degree from Baruch College in 2010, Santos admitted Monday that he hasn’t graduated from “any institution of higher learning.”
“I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume. I own up to that. … We do stupid things in life,” Santos told the New York Post.
In a separate interview Monday with New York-area radio station WABC, Santos defended himself by saying that “a lot of people overstate in their resumes, or twist a little bit. … I’m not saying I’m not guilty of that.”
Is a ‘proud American Jew’
On the campaign trail, Santos had claimed to have a Jewish heritage, at one point calling himself in a position paper a “proud American Jew,” according to a document obtained by the Forward.
His campaign also put forth the story that his maternal grandparents had fled anti-Jewish persecution in Europe during the Second World War.
Santos told the New York Post on Monday that he’d “never claimed to be Jewish.”
“Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish,’” Santos said, adding that he identifies religiously as Catholic.
Owned 13 properties
“George Santos does not own any properties,” the congressman-elect told the New York Post in the third person.
He had claimed on the campaign trail that he owned 13 real estate properties, according to The New York Times, but now says he owns none — and is reportedly currently living with his sister.
“My family has property, and I’m able to use of their property, and I help them out with keeping the books and stuff like that, but that’s a family affair,” Santos told City & State.
Ran an animal rescue group
Among the claims called into question by The New York Times was Santos’s story that he had founded and run an animal rescue group as a 501(3) registered charity, called Friends of Pets United.
The IRS couldn’t locate a charity by that name, the Times reported.
Santos insisted to City & State that he’d worked on the nonprofit but “never claimed to fly solo” on the group.
“I was the guy picking up poop, cleaning, getting people, doing campaigns online,” Santos said.
Lost 4 employees in Pulse nightclub shooting
Santos claimed in an interview with WNYC last month that his company “lost four employees” in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida back in 2016.
Asked on WABC on Monday whether people who worked for him had perished in the shooting, Santos backtracked slightly on the claim.
“That worked for me directly, no. But we did have people who were being hired to work for the company at the time … but yes, we did lose four people who were going to be coming to work for the company,” Santos said.
The New York Times report could not find a link between any of the 49 Pulse shooting victims to Santos’s company at the time.