George Santos addresses claim he scammed veteran out of funds for dying dog

Chanteé Lans Image
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Santos addresses claim he scammed vet out of funds for dying dog
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Embattled Congressman George Santos denies claims he scammed a veteran out of money to save his dying service dog. Chantee Lans has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Eyewitness News is hearing directly from Congressman George Santos for the first time to address at least one of the growing list of accusations against him.

The Republican freshman representative from Long Island and Queens sent reporter Chantee Lans two photos - screenshots - in response to a tweet.

Lans' tweet was in response to his denying a claim that he scammed a once-homeless veteran from New Jersey out of $3,000 to save his dying service dog.

"When the money was there I wanted to go to the vet he would not let me have the money to go to the veterinarian, I started arguing with him back-and-forth with text messages, he even told me they would make Sapphire as comfortable as possible in her final hours -- he never did that," veteran Richard Osthoff said.

Santos tweeted:

"The reports that I would let a dog die is shocking and insane. My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love and hard work. Over the past 24 hours I have received pictures of dogs I helped rescue throughout the years along with supportive messages."

Lans responded, asking him to share the pictures and supportive messages.

He sent two text message screenshots with pictures seemingly of the same dog.

One was dated from last May with a photo of a brown dog and a text saying, "how did you forget about me after saving me?"

He sent another photo text without a date that also showed a similar brown dog.

One message seemingly sent to Santos under the picture said, "Your buddy says hi."

Santos' possible response said, "He looks so good."

The sender then apparently texted, "hang in there," and "we need you in there."

It is not clear who texted Santos.

The Congressman is also under fire this week over the whereabouts of his mother on 9/11.

"My mom was a 9/11 survivor, she was in the South Tower and she made it out, got caught up in the ash cloud, my mom fought cancer till her death," he previously said.

But ABC News obtained immigration records that show his mother was not in the U.S. when the towers fell.

And the latest claim involves a picture that seemingly shows the openly gay congressman performing in drag in Brazil in 2008. Santos also tweeted about that claim and called it "categorically false."

ALSO READ | Nassau County officials to raise money Santos promised to veteran when his dog was dying

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