George Santos, the Republican Congressman-elect from Long Island caught in a web of fabrications and self-described “resume embellishments,” spoke for the first time since a New York Times investigation brought much of his purported candidate backstory into question.
The Daily Beast first reported on Santos and his business record in April, finding that his most recent employer was accused by federal prosecutors of being a Ponzi scheme.
The 34-year-old called into a talk radio show for an interview with WABC to address the Times investigation.
“Well, the record is, I don’t know what my options are,” Santos said when asked if he would sue the publication.
The Long Island Republican said he was going to be “quiet anyway” for the past week because of the sixth anniversary of his mother’s death, but vowed to take his seat and be sworn in on January 3, when the new Congress will convene for the first time.
“I’m gonna look through and see everything, and just like they nitpicked at me, now it’s gonna be my time to nitpick at both journalists who made it their mission to slander me across this country and across the world, and let’s see what happens at the end,” Santos said. “But the one thing is, I will be sworn in, I will take office, I will be able to be an effective member of the legislator [sic.] in the soon-to-be 118th Congress…”
He then went into a reworked version of his stump speech before one of the hosts asked if he gave his own money to his campaign,
“That is the money of, that I paid myself through my company, the Devolder Organization,” Santos said.
The hosts did not push back any further, and Santos thanked New Yorkers for their “tremendous amount of support.”
Santos also gave a vague apology “if I disappointed anyone by resume embellishment,” but did not elaborate beyond that.
Also on Monday, the congressman-elect admitted to The New York Post that he hadn’t been truthful about his work and education background—copping to not having ever worked “directly” for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, or graduated from Baruch College, as he had previously claimed.
Still, Santos insisted, “we do stupid things in life … I’m not a criminal.”