On Monday, The New York Times published an investigation alleging that Congressman-elect George Santos (R-NY) misrepresented much of his personal history and resume during his campaign for office. The Times reported that Santos, who became the first out gay Republican to win a U.S. House seat as a non-incumbent, appears to have lied about both graduating from Baruch College and attending New York University, as well as having worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
It also revealed that he may have lied about having employed four victims of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting and that he confessed in 2010 to stealing a checkbook in Brazil and faces charges of theft and fraud, among numerous other discrepancies and suspect details in his personal history and resume.
Now another falsehood has likely been exposed. Santos touted his Jewish heritage to woo Orthodox Jewish voters, but Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that, more than likely, that is fake too.
The outlet went back through Santos’ appearances and claims and concluded that “as with so much else in his personal narrative, there’s little to suggest truth beyond his own past comments.”
Santos identifies as Jewish through his mother, although his father was Catholic. Santos has said that he is Catholic; that’s common in America for someone to identify as ethnically Jewish and religiously Christian, according to the outlet. Both his parents are Brazilian.
His campaign biography includes the information that “George’s grandparents fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII. They were able to settle in Brazil, where his mother was born.” While that sounds reasonable, questions remain.
Santos’ mother, Fatima Devolder, died in New York City and her obituary does not claim Jewish heritage. Fatima is a famous Roman Catholic appellation for the Virgin Mary. Devolder is a Flemish name, validating his claim about Belgian heritage, but the Flemish people are overwhelmingly Catholic.
Santos, his sister, and his lawyer all refused comment to the outlet. But Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition on Long Island, told the outlet that he had questioned the duplicitous GOP congressman-elect. “I asked him about this. He identifies as Jewish,” he told the JTA.
Santos, who has been repeatedly evicted from his home, claims to be wealthy and has even established a charitable fund. There’s no evidence the charity has done anything. Santos’ financial disclosure forms are missing required information.
A New York Times reporter went to the address listed on his voter registration. The person who answered the door said they had never heard of him.