New York Rep. George Santos finally came clean about why he lied on the campaign trail in a brand-new interview.
The freshman Republican lawmaker, who represents the 3rd District in Nassau County and parts of Queens, told Newsmax in the interview that aired Thursday night, Feb. 9 that his campaign victory would not have been possible if he had been honest about not having a college degree.
"I would have never gotten the nomination from Nassau County GOP if I had not concluded college," Santos told Newsmax.
"To say that I deceived, and (ran) a campaign of deception is just not fair. That's just a political spin that the Nassau County GOP wants to create on this narrative.”
Santos has faced repeated condemnation from both parties after admitting that he lied about much of his background. He claimed to have attended Baruch College in Manhattan on a volleyball scholarship.
He later admitted to the Post that he never graduated from any college, nor had he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, as he previously claimed. He chalked the lies up to a “poor choice of words.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 7, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy revealed that Santos is the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation amid growing questions about his personal and campaign finances. McCarthy told reporters the panel will take action depending on what members find.
“Right now we’re not allowing (Santos) to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen,” McCarthy said.
Santos later told CNN he was “not concerned” about the ethics probe.
The investigation arose after House Democrats filed a complaint against Santos demanding a formal look into his financial disclosure reports.
A nonprofit group has also filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), accusing Santos of illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses and hiding the sources of his campaign donations.
He is also facing investigations by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Despite facing growing pressure to resign from his seat in Congress, Santos said in the Newsmax interview that he’s focused on his work, taking phone calls from constituents, attending meetings, and sponsoring bills.
"I'm human. I've made mistakes," he told the outlet. "I've made peace with those mistakes, and I've come clean on those mistakes. I thought we were the nation of repent and ask for forgiveness and move forward. The problem is the media fanfare around me continues to spiral."
A Siena College poll in late January 2023 found that among New York’s registered voters, nearly two-thirds of Democrats and 59 percent of independents think Santos should resign. A strong plurality of Republicans, 49 percent, also said he should step down.
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