George Santos stands by some claims, while denying, apologizing for lies

Congressman claims he can prove Jewish heritage


U.S. Rep. George Santos appears to have three categories for all of his claims made over the years. The category where he holds his ground, calling the claim true. The category where he denies ever saying a lie, and instead attributing the statement to others.

And now a category where he admits to the lie, and even apologizes for it. At least when talking to British tabloid journalist Piers Morgan.

Santos appeared on Fox Nation’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” telling Morgan the biggest question he faces now is how he possibly believed he would never be caught in these lies he’s now admitting to.

“I ran in 2020 for the same exact seat for Congress,” Santos told Morgan. “And I got away with it then.”

Santos admitted to lying about attending Baruch College, and apologized. But he didn’t admit to much else, except that he’s a “terrible liar.”

The congressman, however, wouldn’t back away from claims of Jewish heritage and that his mother died as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Santos campaigned on being Jewish heritage, telling several media outlets — including the Herald — that his maternal grandparents were Ukrainian Jews who fled to Belgium and then to Brazil during the Holocaust.

Santos described himself as a “proud American Jew” on the campaign trail, as well as referred to himself as a “Latino Jew” and a “non-observant Jew.”

But genealogists found no record of either Jewish or Ukrainian heritage in Santos’s family. They also discovered both of his maternal grandparents were born in Brazil.

“This is the one that I’ll battle to my grave,” Santos told Morgan. “I’ve already ordered those DNA test kits, and I’ve gotten four of them so far. I’m just waiting for their returns.”

Santos stood by that same story of his family moving from Soviet-era Ukraine to Belgium to Brazil, despite evidence to the contrary.

As far as his mother dying on 9/11 — or at least due to a 9/11-related illness — there are no records of a Fatima Devolder, working at the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks. In fact, records have shown she was in Brazil between 1999 and when she applied for a visa to enter the United States in 2003.

“I won't debate my mother's life, as she's passed in 2016,” Santos said. “And I think it's quite insensitive for everybody to want to rehash my mother's legacy.”

Santos says he’s aware there’s a record of those who worked in the buildings, and stood firm on the claim that his mother was in the World Trade Center during the attacks. He added he was only 13 when all of this happened, and he did not have a clear recollection of how the events occurred.

He also stood by some of his employment and education history, saying that he worked with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup as opposed to for them. Santos maintained he lost employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, as well.

Regarding attending the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, Santos maintained that he spent six months of ninth grade there, suggesting he would be in their records under the name “George Devolder.”

On the claim that he scammed veteran Richard Osthoff out of money for his dying dog, Santos said he never met Osthoff.

Santos denied he ever directly claiming he attended New York University and had a Graduate Management Admission Test score of academic excellence. That information was never supplied for his resume, he said, blaming the GOP for putting it there instead.

Santos also denied ever saying he was a producer for “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” as claimed by Bloomberg.

“I never said to anybody I produced a Broadway show,” Santos said. “And if you look at the timeline, I think I would have been 21 years old.”

Santos also said he never claimed to be part of an assassination plot, although he has received death threats. It was called “assassination” during an interview thanks to what he described as a poor Portuguese-to-English translation.

Beyond his talk with Piers Morgan, Newsday reported Santos’s sister was ordered to pay $19,000 to settle her eviction case in Queens.

Santos also joined U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green to sponsor a federal book ban bill. One book Santos took issue with during a roundtable discussion with reporters from the Herald last year was “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, which he claimed — without evidence — was being taught in Long Island schools. Santos described the book as pornographic, but would not share exactly what he didn’t like about the book, telling the Herald he wouldn’t speak about it in front of women in the room, which included reporters and even a member of his own campaign staff.

And now, with investigators taking a very close look at his 2022 campaign finances, Santos has a new campaign treasurer. The congressman informed the Federal Election Commission Andrew Olson of Queens will take over following the resignation of Nancy Marks.

Santos would not directly tell Piers Morgan whether he’d run again in 2024, but showed no signs of stepping down anytime soon.

“This is going to be decided by the people that hired me,” Santos said, hinting at a 2024 run. “No one else. So that’s when I’m going to face the music.”