OAN Shannon Kellan
UPDATED 3:29 PM PT – Thursday, December 22, 2022
New Republican Representative George Santos is facing scrutiny for lying about his history and credentials.
George Santos (R-N.Y.) is accused of fabricating is his alleged Jewish heritage, in his most recent statement. He has described his Jewish and Catholic faith as non-observant and joked in the press that he is “Jew-ish.”
“I’m very proud of my grandparents’ story. My grandfather fleeing, Ukraine, 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. I’m so proud. I mean, I wish I could have met my grandfather,” Santos said in an appearance from late November 2022 with the Jewish News Syndicate.
Santos not only claims that his maternal grandparents are Holocaust survivors, but also Ukrainian-Jewish refugees who changed their surname and fled to Brazil to escape Nazism.
CNN conducted an investigative report from their KFile, which included family trees compiled by genealogy websites and records on Jewish refugees. They also consulted genealogists that contradicted the validity of the Republican’s claims.
“There’s no sign of Jewish and/or Ukrainian heritage and no indication of name changes along the way,” said Megan Smolenyak, a professional genealogist who helped CNN with Santos’ family tree.
There are no records of the Santos family in Brazilian immigration cards from the 1930’s or 1940’s, the Yad Vashem databases, the Holocaust Museum, or the International Center on Nazi Persecution, which had records on Jewish refugees. One genealogy website “myheritage.com,” had Santos’ maternal grandfather’s (1918) and grandmother’s (1927), births registered in Brazil before the Nazis rose into power.
Santos’ maternal great-grandfather was an engineer born in Belgium in 1863. A newspaper article in Rio Correio da Manha (Morning Mail) dating back to 1954 stated that his great-grandfather had immigrated to Brazil back in 1884. There are even Brazilian church records of Santos’ grandmothers wedding in 1928.
Matt Brooks, head of the RJC stated, he “is aware of the claims being made against Congressman-elect George Santos, and we have reached out to his office directly to ascertain whether they are true. These allegations, if true, are deeply troubling. Given their seriousness, the Congressman-elect owes the public an explanation, and we look forward to hearing it.”
Santos has recognized that he needs to address the accusations but has not come out with a formal statement yet.
In another controversy, the representative may have also misrepresented parts of his resume including his college degree and employment history. The Times reported that neither Baruch College nor NYU had any record of Santos’ alleged attendance.
The congressman also claims to have graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelor’s of Science and NYU with an MBA. No records were found that proved Santos ever worked at Citigroup and Goldman.
The 34-year-old made history back in November as the first non-incumbent that ran as a openly gay Republican to win a House seat. Santos beat his Democrat opposition, Robert Zimmerman, by 8% of the points. The district he currently represents includes much of Nassau County and some of Queens whose population is about 20% Jewish.
Questions about his marital history also arose. Allegedly, there were reports that Santos got divorced from a woman in September 2019 right before his congressional campaign. Even though a previous marriage does not discredit his claimed sexuality, critics find it odd that he has never spoken about it. Investigators also can not find marriage records of him and his current husband Matt.
Thus, Democrats want further investigations to be held and for Santos to be removed.