George Santos still claims mother died due to 9/11 attacks despite not being in country

Rep. George Santos Photo: Screenshot

Gay Rep. George Santos (R-NY) recently repeated his claim that his mother died in connection to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), even though immigration documents suggest that she was in Brazil at the time of the attack.

In a One America New Network (OANN) interview last Saturday, Santos said, “[My mother] had died as a result of [the September 11, 2001, attack]…. The toxic dust that permeated throughout Manhattan and my mother being present, downtown Manhattan, that is, was what I was referencing.”

“My mom died in home-hospice in 2016.”

However, The New York Times reported that Santos’s mother wrote in a 2003 U.S. visa application that she had been in Brazil since 1999 and was unable to return to the U.S. because her green card had been stolen. There is no evidence to suggest that she ever worked in the WTC South Tower. In the aforementioned immigration documents, she described herself as a housekeeper and home aide.

When asked about the Times‘s reporting by OANN interviewer Caitlin Sinclair, Santos “didn’t know where [those details] came from.” 

In a July 12, 2021 tweet, Santos wrote, “9/11 claimed my mother’s life.” As of Monday, February 6, Santos’s campaign website states, “George’s mother was in her office in the South Tower on September 11, 2001, when the horrific events of that day unfolded. She survived the tragic events on September 11th, but she passed away a few years later when she lost her battle to cancer.”

Apparently, “a few years later” meant 15 years later.

“Until [December 28, 2022], Mr. Santos’s campaign biography said that his mother, Fatima Devolder, worked her way up to become ‘the first female executive at a major financial institution,’” The New York Times reported in early January. However, Santos’s friends say they remember her as a woman who spoke only Portuguese and worked cooking food and cleaning houses.

Santos previously confessed to trying to illegally cash checks belonging to a man his mother had cared for. He has since denied the charge, though Brazil has reopened the investigation into it.

In a recent House floor speech, Santos honored Michael Weinstock, a volunteer firefighter who was a first responder during the September 11 terrorist attack. Weinstock will be Santos’s guest at the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Weinstock, who now works as a lawyer, was reportedly let go from the law firm where he worked because of his acceptance of Santos’s invitation, the Times reported. Weinstock says Santos agreed to sponsor legislation that would require a medical fund for 9/11 rescuers to cover neurological conditions experienced by Weinstock and other 9/11 first responders following the attack’s aftermath.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to stay focused enough on the issue of 9/11 responders receiving the health care that they need without being sullied by George Santos,” Weinstock said when asked about Santos’s fabricated personal history and questionable 9/11 claims.

Santos has admitted to lying to “everyone” about his largely fabricated personal history. He has admitted that he lied about graduating from Baruch College and New York University, working directly for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and living at a fake address in his congressional district.

He has provided no additional proof to back up claims that he founded a charity called Friends of Pets, that he lost four employees in the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, and that he is legally married to the man he currently refers to as his husband. He also claimed his Jewish grandparents fled Nazi persecution in Ukraine, but genealogical records showed that his grandparents were born in Brazil. Santos has since claimed that he’s not Jewish, but rather “Jew-ish.”

While Santos recently claimed that he’s all done telling lies, it seems like the Department of Justice has opened “an active criminal investigation” into the congressman’s campaign finances. Santos recently stepped down from his congressional committee assignments over worries that he’ll be a “distraction.” He was recently accused of sexually harassing a gay male staffer.

More recently, Santos’s former romantic partners have alleged that he lied to and stole from them. Santos has also been accused of making racist and antisemitic comments in a resurfaced Facebook post.

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