Democrats are calling for Representative-Elect George Santos (R-NY) to resign his House seat ahead of being sworn in January 3 after he admitted to lying about his life history.
In an interview with the New York Post on Monday, Santos admitted to fabricating his education and professional background, admitting that he lied on the campaign trail.
However, Santos said the revelations would not deter him from serving his two-year term in Congress representing Long Island’s Nassau County—a House seat he flipped from Democratic to Republican in the November midterm.
“I am not a criminal,” he told the Post, adding, “I will be effective. I will be good.”
Among his admissions, Santos lied about working for Goldman-Sachs and Citigroup. He also said he’d never graduated from any college, despite having claimed to have achieved a degree from Baruch in 2010.
Santos also lied about his personal background. He now says he’s “clearly Catholic”—despite having claimed to have been the grandson of a Jewish couple who escaped the Nazis in World War II.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos told the Post. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”
Democrats have been calling out Santos on social media.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), incoming Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said on Twitter, “GOP Congressman-elect George Santos, who has now admitted his whopping lies, should resign. If he does not, then @GOPLeader should call for a vote to expel @Santos4Congress.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted that Santos “confessed to defrauding the voters of Long Island about his ENTIRE resume” and called for him to be “banned from taking the oath for Congress.”
House Republican leaders, meanwhile, told the New York Post they were aware of at least some of Santos’ fabrications while he was on the campaign trail.
“As far as questions about George in general, that was always something that was brought up whenever we talked about this race,” said one senior GOP leadership aide. “It was a running joke at a certain point. This is the second time he’s run and these issues we assumed would be worked out by the voters.”
Republican Jewish Coalition boss Matt Brooks called the reports of Santos’ fabrications “deeply troubling.”
And Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo told the Post last week, “I will be listening attentively, and I want to hear meaningful remarks from George Santos.”
However, one House insider told the Post that as long as Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is struggling to collect enough votes to achieve the House Speakership, Santos is unlikely to go anywhere.
“The most important purpose that Santos serves is voting for Kevin McCarthy, until then nobody’s going to do anything,” the insider said. “He won his election. He’s a member of Congress. Too bad for Democrats. Should have figured this all out beforehand. He will have committee assignments.”
Reps for McCarthy did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.