GOP Rep.-elect George Santos of New York admitted in two separate interviews on Monday to embellishing parts of his resume but claimed that he hasn’t committed any crimes and intends to serve in Congress.
Santos has faced scrutiny over discrepancies in his employment 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 am 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 get down to the nit and gritty, I’m not a fraud. I’m not a criminal who defrauded the entire country and made up this fictional character and ran for Congress. I’ve been around a long time. I mean, a lot of people know me. They know who I am. They’ve done business dealings with me,” he added.
“I’m not going to make excuses for this, but a lot of people overstate in their resumes, or twist a little bit. … I’m not saying I’m not guilty of that,” he said.
Santos also admitted that he never worked directly for the financial firms Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, as he has previously suggested, but claimed that he did do work for them through his company, telling the New York Post it was a “poor choice of words” to say he worked for them.
He also told the Post that he didn’t graduate from any college or university, despite claiming he had degrees from Baruch College and New York University.
“I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” he told the Post, adding that he owns up to that and that “we do stupid things in life.”
He told WABC, “I want to make sure that if I disappointed anyone by resume embellishment, I am sorry.”
Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in a newly drawn district covering parts of Queens and some nearby Long Island suburbs, flipping control to Republicans, who dominated the New York suburbs on their way to winning a House majority