Congressman-elect George Santos complained Tuesday night that “everyone wants to nitpick him” for lying to voters about his work experience, education and religion, insisting there was room for a debate on the extent of his blatant lies.
Santos, a 34-year-old Republican who was elected Nov. 8 to represent Long Island’s North Shore in the House of Representatives, made the comments on PKB News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after revealing to the Post the day before his big deception.
When guest host Tulsi Gabbard asked Santos if he was “not ashamed,” the Republican referred the question to the former Democratic lawmaker.
“Tulsi, I can say the same about the Democrats and the party,” Santos replied. “Look at Joe Biden. Joe Biden has been lying to the American people for 40 years. He’s the President of the United States. Democrats overwhelmingly support him. Aren’t they ashamed?
Santos also tried to downplay his false claims that he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, saying his resume fraud was an embellishment and not an outright lie.
“We can debate my resume and how I’ve worked with companies like Goldman…” he began.
“Is it debatable?” Gabbard interrupted him. “Or is it just wrong?”
“No, it’s not wrong at all, it’s debatable,” said Santos – who then argued that explaining how he allegedly did business with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup while employed at the capital firm -Link Bridge investment would go “way over the heads of the American people”.
Santos admitted on Monday that he had not graduated from college or worked at major Wall Street firms. He also confessed to being a Catholic, although he called himself a “proud American Jew” during the election campaign.
The disgraced congressman-elect, who was spotted moving items around his sister’s apartment in Elmhurst earlier on Tuesday, also told the Post that he does not own any property after claiming to have more than one. ‘a dozen, and admitted he had sued a Queens landlord for $12,000. .
Santos also attempted on Tuesday to explain his false claims that his mother was Jewish and that his grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War II.
“My heritage is Jewish, I have always identified as Jewish. I was raised a practicing Catholic. I think I’ve been there,” he told Gabbard.
“Even [though] I didn’t, I wasn’t brought up as an observant Jew, I always joked with friends and circles – even during the campaign I would say “Guys, I’m Jewish”. Remember, I was raised Catholic. So listen, I get it and everyone wants to nitpick me.
“I will reassure once and for all,” Santos continued. “I am not a facade, I am not a character. I have a long career that I have worked very hard for, and I will use my experience as I remain committed to delivering results for the American people.
Asked by Gabbard what the word “integrity” meant to him, Santos replied that it was “very important”.
“It means, behaving in an honorable way. And I made a mistake. And I think humans have flaws and we all make mistakes, Tulsi. Um, I think we can all look in the mirror and admit that once we made a mistake.
“I have to admit this on national television for the whole country to see and I have the courage to do this because I believe that in order to move past this and move forward and be an effective member of Congress, I have to do face my mistakes, and I face them,” he said.
Santos then tried a new tactic, claiming he lied about the most important aspects of his personal and professional life because he had a difficult upbringing.
“The reality is that I remain committed to doing everything I set out in my campaign,” he said. “I am not an impostor, I am not an impostor. I did not materialize from nothing. I have worked very hard to get to where I am all my life. Life wasn’t easy, it didn’t start easy. As I have said many times, I come from abject poverty.
“Congressman-elect Santos, we gave you plenty of time,” Gabbard said to wrap up the interview. “The time that is due is to the people of New York’s Third Ward [District]. It’s hard to imagine how they could trust your explanations when you’re not even really willing to admit to them the depth of your deception.