Rep. George Santos says he ‘got away’ with lies before, was surprised to get caught this time

WASHINGTON— Embattled New York Republican Rep. George Santos defended parts of his record while simultaneously admitting to being “a terrible liar”  during an interview on broadcaster Piers Morgan’s talk show.

Santos claimed he wants to be the “most transparent member of Congress” during the sit-down where Morgan interrogated him about his many lies including where he went to high school, his heritage and his business practices.

“I’ve been a terrible liar,” he said during the hour-long interview.

Santos, in the first two months of the 118th Congress, has resigned from his committee assignments, found himself in the center of multiple investigations and has been the subject of several Federal Election Commission complaints over concerns about his campaign finances. Santos has reiterated that he has no plans on stepping down despite bipartisan calls for his resignation.

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‘I got away with it then’

Morgan asked Santos why he thought he could get away with the many fabrications about his background when running for public service. Santos admitted that he did not think people would find out about his lies, saying it is “embarrassing” and “humbling” to admit his faults.

“I’ll humor you this – I ran in 2020 for the same exact seat for Congress and I got away with it then,” Santos said.

Santos claims he’s ‘just a regular person’

Rep.-elect George Santos, R-N.Y., walks through the Capitol as the House meets for a fourth day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.

Santos told Morgan his real name is George Anthony Devolder Santos, despite the many reports that he has used fake names in the past.

“I’m just a regular person Piers. I’m flawed like every other human being,” he said. “I’ve made mistakes, I’ve made strides.”

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Santos admits to lies about college education

When Morgan asked if he earned a college degree, Santos conceded he had not and acknowledged he previously lied about attending Baruch College.

“I just think it was a stupid decision on my part,” he said about the fabrication. “A very stupid decision that I regret every day.”

Morgan asked Santos why he would lie about his college background. Santos responded: “(the) expectation of society, the pressure, couldn’t afford it, decided I wanted to run for office although I had built a very credible business career and I just didn’t have that part of my biography.”

On other lies, Santos doubles down

George Santos, R-NY, on the House floor before President Joe Biden arrives for the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol in Washington.

George Santos, R-NY, on the House floor before President Joe Biden arrives for the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol in Washington.

Santos defended his claims that his mother was in the one of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11 and that his grandparents survived the Holocaust.

“I won’t debate my mother’s life since she’s passed … and I think it’s quite insensitive for everybody to want to rehash my mother’s legacy,” he said in response to Morgan pressing that there have been no reports his mother was in one of the buildings during the attack.

Santos also defended his heritage, saying he never claimed to be Jewish, repeating he was raised Catholic but comes from a Jewish family, making him “Jew-ish” – a line that has drawn ridicule in the past.

“I’ve always made this as a party favor joke and I’ve done it on stages across the country,” he said of his religious claims.

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Is Santos running for reelection?

GOP Rep. George Santos says he'll respond to allegations about his background 'soon'

GOP Rep. George Santos says he’ll respond to allegations about his background ‘soon’

“I’ve made that abundantly clear,” Santos said when Morgan asked him how he can promise voters he won’t lie again. “I want to be the most transparent member of Congress and deliver the most transparent everything that goes on.”

Santos, who said he is mulling reelection, acknowledged he’ll have a hard time recovering his credibility but feels confident he will be able to do so.

“I think that the Americans who voted for me will get to judge me in two years and they make that ultimate decision,” he said.

‘My sins here are embellishing my resume’: Rep.-elect George Santos admits to lying about college and career

Reports: Federal prosecutors launching investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos’ finances

Dig deeper

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: George Santos says he ‘got away’ with prior lies in 2020 campaign


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