Representative George Santos admits to lying about CV, says he is ‘not a criminal’



CNN

GOP Rep. George Santos of New York admitted in two separate interviews Monday to lying about parts of his resume but maintained that he has committed no crimes and intends to serve in Congress.

Santos has faced scrutiny over discrepancies in his work and education history, as well as other public claims he has made about his biography. In interviews with WABC radio and the New York Post — the first times Santos has spoken publicly about the controversy — he acknowledged that he had fabricated some facts.

“I’m not a criminal. “Not here, not abroad, in any jurisdiction in the world, have I ever committed any crimes,” Santos said in an interview with WABC radio host John Catsimatidis.

“To come down to nit and brave, I’m not a fraud. I am not a criminal who defrauded the entire country and created this fictitious character and ran for Congress. I have been involved for a long time. I mean, a lot of people know me. They know who I am. They have done business with me, he added.

“I’m not going to make excuses for this, but a lot of people exaggerate their resume, or twist it a little bit. … I’m not saying I’m not guilty of that,” he said.

Santos also admitted that he never worked directly for financial firms Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, as he has previously implied, but claimed that he did work for them through his company, telling the New York Post that it was a “bad choice of words” to say that he worked for them.

He also told the Post that he did not graduate from any college or university, despite claiming to have degrees from Baruch College and New York University.

“I did not graduate from any higher education institution. I’m embarrassed and sorry for embellishing my resume,” he told the Post, adding that he owns up to it and that “we do stupid things in life.”

He told WABC, “I want to make sure that if I disappointed anyone by resuming the decorating, I’m sorry.”

The New York Times only revealed last week that Santos’ biography appeared to be partly fictional. CNN confirmed details of this reporting, including about his college education and employment history.

House GOP leadership has been silent amid the revelations. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would not answer CNN’s questions Thursday when asked if he was concerned about apparent misrepresentations.

Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in a newly drawn district covering parts of Queens and some nearby Long Island suburbs, handing control to Republicans, who dominated the New York suburbs en route to winning a majority in the House.

It was Santos’ second run — he lost to Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi in 2020 — and most of the criticism he faced during his recent campaign centered on his attendance at former President Donald Trump’s rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, and a video . in which he claimed to have written a “nice check” to help alleged rioters with their legal fees.

This story has been updated with additional context.

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