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More false claims are emerging from George Santos about his work, education and family history

More false claims are emerging from George Santos about his work, education and family history

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CNN

El George Santos made additional false statements over the years about his family history, work history and education in campaign appearances over the years, a review of statements made in two of his congressional campaigns found.

CNN’s KFile uncovered more falsehoods from Santos, including claims he was forced to drop out of a private school in New York when his family’s real estate assets took a nosedive and claims he represented Goldman Sachs at a leading financial conference where he scolded the renewable investment company.

CNN also reviewed more cases of Santos providing an additional false story about his family’s origins. In an interview, Santos said his mother’s family’s historic Jewish name was “Zabrowski” and later appeared to be running a GoFundMe campaign for a pet charity (which he falsely claimed was a 501(c)( 3)) under this pseudonym. Genealogists CNN previously spoke with found no evidence of Jewish or Ukrainian heritage in his family tree.

In another, he said his mother, whose family had lived in Brazil since the late 1800s, was a white immigrant from Belgium.

The Santos campaign did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Since the first reports appeared about his false claims, Santos went to great lengths to downplay his fabrications as mere “embellishment.” But Santos’ previously undisclosed claims illustrate a pattern of fabricating details about his life, often in service of presenting a more compelling or interesting personal narrative. The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday it was investigating Santos’ fabrications, but did not specify what lies it would investigate.

In interviews over the past few days, Santos admitted he lied about parts of his resume, including his college graduation, but told New York Post that misrepresenting his work history at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup was a “bad choice of words.” There is no evidence that he worked in the country’s leading financial institutions, as he claimed earlier.

Santos also denied falsely calling himself Jewish, claiming he “never claimed to be Jewish,” but jokingly said he was “Jewish” to the New York Post. He also falsely claimed that his grandparents were “Holocaust survivors” and fled Europe to escape Jewish persecution. But CNN found that Santos repeatedly referred to himself as an “American Jew” and a “Latino Jew.” The Republican Jewish Coalition refused to allow Santos to appear at any of its events because he “misrepresented his heritage.”

Despite the scandals, the New York Republican, who flipped his Long Island seat, said he would take office in January — spurring calls for his resignation from Democrats.

Here are some of the blatant falsehoods uncovered by CNN:

In appearance and in an old campaign biographySantos claims his parents sent him to Horace Mann, an elite private school in the Bronx.

“He started Horace Mann Preparatory School in the Bronx, but did not graduate from Horace Mann due to financial difficulties for his family,” reads his 2019 biography of his first congressional campaign, which Santos lost. “He got his GED his senior year.”

Santos too made the same claim appearing on a YouTube show in 2020

“They sent me to a good prep school, which was Horace Mann Prep in the Bronx. And in my senior year in prep school, unfortunately my parents fell on hard times, which was what would later become known as the Depression of 2008. But we were hit a little earlier by the real estate boom. And the market started to crash. Um, and the first thing he had to go to was prep school. You know, you can’t afford $2,500 tuition right now, can you? So anyway, I dropped out of school, four months away from graduation.

But the claim is false, according to the school.

“We checked the records and there is no evidence that George Santos (or any alias) attended Horace Mann,” Ed Adler, a spokesman for the school, told CNN.

“Have you ever heard a Goldman Sachs employee take the stage at the world’s largest private equity conference — SALT, chaired by Anthony Scaramucci — and berate his employer? Well, I did,” Santos said on a local podcast this summer. “And I did it in the fashion of renewable energy and global warming. That was the panel I was on. And they’re all talking about solar, wind, and that was, what, seven years ago? And I said, you know what, it’s a scam. This is taxpayers’ money being subsidized.

The claim is completely fabricated, both according to Goldman Sachs, which claims Santos never worked there, and according to Scaramucci, who chaired the conference.

Scaramucci told CNN in a statement that not only was there no record of him appearing on a panel, there was no record of him even attending the conference.

In appearance of a Fox News digital show in February, Santos said his maternal grandparents changed their Jewish surname from Zabrowski, a claim for which there is no evidence and conflicting records.

“We don’t bear the Ukrainian surname. For many people who are descendants of World War II refugees or Holocaust survivors, many names and documents were changed in the name of survival. So I don’t have the last name, which would be Zabrowski. I go by my mother’s maiden name, which is the Dutch side of the family.

Megan Smoleniak, an author and professional genealogist who helped research Santos’ family tree at CNN’s request, previously told CNN, “There is no sign of Jewish and/or Ukrainian heritage and no sign of name changes along the way.”

Santos deleted his former personal Facebook account last week, but CNN’s KFile reviewed records indicating that he used the alias “Anthony Zabrowski” to raise funds for a pet charity. The GoFundMe page under that alias no longer exists. CNN reached out to GoFundMe but did not hear back.

In a radio appearance from December 2020Santos falsely claimed that his mother “escaped socialism” in Europe and moved to the United States.

“My father fled socialism in Brazil. My mother escaped socialism in Europe and they came here and started a family. And today they can be proud to have a son who is a well-accomplished businessman who is now running for the United States Congress. This is something that was not in the cards for my family,” Santos said.

He also claimed in another 2020 interview that he “grew up with a white Caucasian mother, an immigrant from Belgium.”

But Santos’ mother was born in Brazil, according to genealogical records.


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