New York congressman-elect admits lying about college and work history

George Santos said he was ‘embarrassed and sorry’ for lying about his job experience and college education. Photograph: Wade Vandervort/AFP/Getty Images

Republican George Santos, elected to represent parts of Long Island and Queens, admits ‘embellishing résumé’

George Santos, the New York Republican congressman-elect at the center of a storm over his apparently fabricated résumé, has admitted he lied about his job experience and college education during his successful US House campaign.

Santos first ran for Congress in 2020. In November this year he was elected to represent parts of northern Long Island and north-east Queens.

His exaggerations were first identified by the New York Times, which questioned claims including that he had worked at two prominent Wall Street banks; had obtained degrees in finance and economics from two New York colleges; that he was Jewish; and that four employees of his company were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016.

On Monday, Santos told the New York Post: “My sins here are embellishing my résumé. I’m sorry.”

Santos, 34, also said he “campaigned talking about the people’s concerns, not my résumé … I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign.”

But he acknowledged he “didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my résumé. I own up to that … We do stupid things in life”.

Democrats including the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, have suggested Santos is unfit to sit in Congress. Some have called for him to resign his seat before taking it.

Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, said on Twitter: “George Santos, who has now admitted his whopping lies, should resign. If he does not, then [Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House leader] should call for a vote to expel” him.

Joaquin Castro, from Texas, said allowing Santos to enter office would set a dangerous precedent.

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