LI Congressman-elect George Santos under fire for claiming his grandparents survived Holocaust

Kemberly Richardson Image
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Santos faces new allegations over ancestry claim
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According to "The Forward," genealogy websites show both Santos' grandparents were born in Brazil. Kemberly Richardson has details.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Congressman-elect George Santos, whose election on Long Island last month helped Republicans narrowly take control of the House, is facing new allegations of fabricating his life story.

The latest claim coming into question is that his grandparents survived the Holocaust.

"My grandparents survived the Holocaust, so these regimes of socialism, Marxism, they don't work," Santos said.

He told voters that his grandfather fled to Brazil after escaping the Nazis in Eastern Europe.

"Fleeing Stalin's persecution, going to Belgium, finding refuge there, marrying my grandmother, then fleeing Hitler going to Brazil. That's a story of perseverance," Santos said.

But, according to "The Forward", an independent, Jewish news organization, genealogy websites show both Santos' grandparents were born in Brazil.

The gaping hole in Santos' resume now appears to grow wider. He was first exposed Monday by the New York Times.

Santos has said he attended NYU and Baruch College, but the schools say they have no records of him.

He also said he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, though the banks say they have no record of him.

Even Santos' animal charity has no IRS paper trail.

"If you've seen "Inventing Anna" on Netflix, this is "Inventing George Santos. It's time he do the right thing and step aside," democratic former congressional candidate Josh Lafazan said.

On Thursday, Santos said on Twitter that he would address the questions about his past next week.

His attorney did issue a statement, suggesting the accusations are a political hit job.

His opponents say otherwise.

"He appears to be a complete and utter fraud his whole life story is made up. And he's going to have to answer that question: Did you perpetrate a fraud on the voters of the 3rd Congressional District in New York?", Rep. Hakeem Jefferies said.

Some are calling for Santos to resign before he's even sworn in. Analysts say it's more likely he will face an ethics investigation once he takes office.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is looking into a number of issues raised about Santos.

This has not advanced to an investigation but Is rather characterized as a review of the claims raised in the New York Times and by Santos' political opponents.

The James has a particular interest in charities and charitable giving and about political fundraising.

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