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Republican Congressman-elect George Santos of New York divorced a woman in 2019, days before the start of his failed 2020 campaign.
As noted in a new report by The Daily Beast, Santos didn't disclose his marriage to a woman throughout his campaign while he positioned himself as a proud gay Republican.
Santos became the first gay Republican to be elected to Congress while being out from the get-go when he beat out Democrat Robert Zimmerman in last month's midterm elections. Predecessors Steve Gunderson and Jim Kolbe came out while already in office.
"The divorce -- which Santos has not discussed publicly -- adds new uncertainty to his already shaky biographical and political claims," the outlet reports.
Santos had previously said that he was "openly gay" and that he never had a problem with his sexual orientation.
The Beast reports that after his divorce was finalized, he filed to run for Congress in 2020 -- where he went on to lose. His recent 2022 campaign bio does refer to his husband. Santos said that he lives with his husband and dogs on Long Island.
The outlet found New York court records that indicate that in 2019 a George Devolder Santos, with a second initial of "A," finalized a divorce with a Uadla Santos Vieira Santos. It noted that in public records searches only one person appeared with that name.
Santos's middle name is Anthony and he has gone by Devolder -- his mother's maiden name -- previously.
"People get married for countless reasons. But Santos' situation is curious because he never disclosed his divorce to voters, and never reconciled his prior marriage to a woman -- which ended just 12 days before he established his first congressional campaign -- with his claims of being an out and proud gay Republican," the Beast wrote.
He claimed to have worked at two major Wall Street firms, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, but they had no record of his employment there, they told the Times. He also claimed to have graduated from Baruch College in 2010, but college officials could find no evidence of that. The Internal Revenue Service could find no registration for his charitable organization, Friends of Pets United.
He also said he runs an investment management company, the Devolder Organization, but there is little public information about it, and he has listed no clients. "And while Santos has described a family fortune in real estate, he has not disclosed, nor could the Times find, records of his properties," the paper reports.
He once asserted that he had four employees who died in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016. "But a Times review of news coverage and obituaries found that none of the 49 victims appear to have worked at the various firms named in his biography," the article notes.
Responding to the Times investigation, Santos's lawyer released a statement saying, "represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by--a gay, Latino, immigrant and Republican who won a Biden district in overwhelming fashion by showing everyday voters that there is a better option than the broken promises and failed policies of the Democratic Party."
On Wednesday, CNN reported that claims by Santos that his grandparents "survived the Holocaust" as Ukrainian Jewish refugees from Belgium who changed their surname to survive are contradicted by sources reviewed by the outlet -- including family trees compiled by genealogy websites, records on Jewish refugees and interviews with multiple genealogists.
After the latest round of allegations against the politician, Santos wrote on Twitter Thursday, "To the people of #NY03 I have my story to tell and it will be told next week. I want to assure everyone that I will address your questions and that I remain committed to deliver the results I campaigned on; Public safety, Inflation, Education & more."
He ended the tweet by writing, "Happy Holidays to all!"
\u201cTo the people of #NY03 I have my story to tell and it will be told next week. I want to assure everyone that I will address your questions and that I remain committed to deliver the results I campaigned on; Public safety, Inflation, Education & more.\n\nHappy Holidays to all!\u201d— George Santos (@George Santos) 1671732677