Tuesday Reads

Kees van Dongen, Ice Skating

Kees van Dongen, Ice Skating

Good Morning!!

This will be a quickie post, because I’m still sick. I can testify that coughing all day and all night for 5 days in a row is exhausting and debilitating.

There’s not a lot of exciting news, which is to be expected during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. But there’s always something in politics to gossip about. Today’s juicy story is about George Santos, the newly elected New York representative who seems to have lied about his life and history in every way you can imagine. This story has been going on for awhile, and it just keeps getting worse.

CNN: Rep.-elect George Santos admits to lying about resume, says he’s ‘not a criminal.’

GOP Rep.-elect George Santos of New York admitted in two separate interviews on Monday to lying about 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.”

Do we even know for sure his name is George Santos?

More from the New York Post article: Liar Rep.-elect George Santos admits fabricating key details of his bio.

Santos, elected to Congress on Nov. 8 to represent the Long Island- and Queens-based 3rd District, was also accused of lying about his family history, saying on his campaign website that his mother was Jewish and his grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War II.

Tower of London Ice Rink is a painting by Andrew Macara which was uploaded on June 7th, 2015.

Tower of London Ice Rink, by Andrew Macara .

Santos now says that he’s “clearly Catholic,” but claimed his grandmother told stories about being Jewish and later converting to Catholicism.

“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos said. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”

Santos, the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to the House, also faced accusations that he lied about his sexual orientation, with the Daily Beast reporting last week that he was previously married to a woman until shortly before he launched his unsuccessful 2020 campaign against Democrat Tom Suozzi.

The soon-to-be lawmaker confirmed to The Post on Monday that he was indeed married to a woman for about five years, from 2012 until his divorce in 2017, but insisted that he is now a happily married gay man.

Santos admitted to financial problems:

Santos also acknowledged being a deadbeat tenant in Sunnyside, Queens, where the Times reported he was ordered by a judge to pay more than $12,000 to a former landlord who claimed non-payment of several months of rent — as well as that Santos had tried to pass a check that bounced.

On Monday, Santos claimed that at the time of the lawsuit, his family was deep in medical debt from his mother’s cancer battle.

“We were engulfed in debt,” he said. “We had issues paying rent at the time. It’s the vulnerability of being human. I am not embarrassed by it.”

Santos said his mother died of cancer on Dec. 23, 2016, after living with him at the Queens apartment and acknowledged the judgment against him.

Asked if he ever actually paid the arrears, Santos admitted: “We didn’t pay it off. I completely forgot about it.” 

Santos also admitted to lying when he claimed that he owned 13 different properties, saying he now resides at his sister’s place in Huntington but is looking to purchase his own place. 

There’s more on Santos’ lies at the link. It’s just endless.

B ut now Santos seems to have plenty of money. Where did it come from? The Washington Post: Rep.-elect George Santos acknowledges ‘résumé embellishment’ but answers little on finances.

George Santos, a Long Island Republican who won a pivotal U.S. House race in November, acknowledged Monday night that he embellished his biography, seeking to explain his actions by saying in a radio interview that “a lot of people overstate in their résumés.”

While Santos played down the harm done with his claims, first raised in a New York Times story last week, he did briefly address how his wealth has skyrocketed in the past several years to enable him to lend hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign.

Agnes Tait, Skating in Central Park, 1934He told City and State NY that after different jobs, he opened his own firm and “it just worked because I had the relationships and I started making a lot of money. And I fundamentally started building wealth.” With that, he added, “I decided I’d invest in my race for Congress. There’s nothing wrong with that.” [….]

This past week, after the New York Times report raised a host of questions about whether Santos had fabricated much of his biography, Santos’s lawyer said the congressman-elect had been defamed, but he did not address specifics. The Times noted that Santos claimed that he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Spokesmen for both companies confirmed to The Post that they had no record of his employment.

Santos said during the 11-minute radio interview on Monday that “the way it’s stated on the résumé, doing work for — I have worked ‘for,’ not ‘on’ or ‘at’ or ‘in’.” He said that he learned a lesson but that it doesn’t mean “I’m some fictional character.”

When Santos in June 2021 announced his bid forNew York’s 3rd District, which largely represents an affluent section of the North Shore of Long Island, he made a promise that few other candidates could match. If elected, he said in a campaign video, “I pledge to never take a salary.”

He furthered the impression that he was independently wealthy by lending his campaign at least $580,000, and his political action committee at least $27,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The loans played a key role in his surprising victory and helped give Republicans a narrow majority in the House.

Read more about Santos’ finances at the WaPo link.

Noah Lanard and David Corn published this detailed article about Santos’ finances at Mother Jones on December 21. I’m too sick with this chest cold to read something this complicated, but maybe Dakninkat can make sense of it: Scandal-Struck George Santos Just Revived the Firm That Netted Him Mystery Millions.

The Washington Post reports today that: Democrats call for George Santos to resign seat over résumé ‘lies.’

Democratic lawmakers are calling for Rep.-elect George Santos to resign from the House seat he won in November, after the Long Island Republican admitted to “résumé embellishment” — dialing up the pressure on GOP leadership to respond.

“GOP Congressman-elect George Santos, who has now admitted his whopping lies, should resign,” tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), urging Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to call a vote to expel Santos if he does not quit.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) said that if Santos takes his new seat, it would set a precedent encouraging others to seek public office by falsifying their credentials, while Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) accused Santos of “defrauding the voters of Long Island about his ENTIRE resume.”

McCarthy (R-Calif.) has so far not responded to allegations that Santos misled voters about key details of his biography, which were first reported in a New York Times story last week.

Of course not. McCarthy needs this guy for his tiny House majority. Besides Santos fits in perfectly with the party of Trump. Maybe Santos can run for president next.

More stories to check out:

The New York Times: ‘Tragic Battle’: On the Front Lines of China’s Covid Crisis.

The Washington Post: Hitting back at Trump, Biden gears up for more clashes with GOP.

The Guardian: The untold story of how a US woman was sentenced to six years for voting.

The Daily Mail: Another Putin critic ‘falls out a window’ to his death: Sausage tycoon plummets from luxury hotel – two days after his male friend died of a ‘heart attack’ on their trip to India.

Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo: ‘Blizzard of the century’: Life safety remains focus as deaths reach 28 in Buffalo Niagara.

CNN: South Korea fires warning shots after North Korean drones enter its airspace.

The Daily Beast: The Woman Who Plans to Make Elon Musk Pay for His Twitter Sins.

I’m going back to bed for now. Take care, Sky Dancers!

16 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a nice Tuesday everyone!

  2. quixote says:

    Excellent, coherent post even with being sick and coughing for five days! Admit it. You’re Wonder Woman. There’s no other explanation. (Even so, rest up! Feel better soon!)

    Santos: two questions: would he still win his election if it were held today? Meaning, do his lies matter to his voters? I’m betting he stole his election by lying, but with Repubs, you never know. And: first I’ve heard of mystery millions. THAT is what the media and Congress needs to focus on.

    • NW Luna says:

      My guess is since he’s in NY voters there care more about his lies than would voters in a hard-red area in the South.

      • dakinikat says:

        I’m sure the regulatory agency in NY or the SEC will be on top of him shortly. Licensing for that kind of work has been strict and strictly enforced since Maddof, and those 80s junk bond dealers did their do.

    • quixote says:

      So, some stuff starting to bubble up. Daily Beast: “Andrew Intrater, money manager to Russian Viktor Vekselberg, gave $56,100 to committees tied to Rep.-elect George Devolder-Santos, who called Ukraine “totalitarian.””

  3. NW Luna says:

    BB, I hope your recovery comes soon! Cough is nearly always the last symptom to go away after a upper respiratory infection. It’s so draining. Will your healthcare provider Rx you an anti-tussive with a phone call or video visit? There’s a non-narcotic cough suppressant, benzonatate (or Tessalon Perles), a topical numbing agent that reduces the cough reflex. Take care and rest.

  4. dakinikat says:

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  7. djmm says:

    Great post, BB! Best wishes for a full recovery!