Congressman-elect George Santos, who is out, confirmed that he had deceived voters by fabricating parts of his professional and academic history.
In interviews with conservative-owned media outlets, The New York Post and WABC-AM radio, Santos, 34, admitted to some of the lies uncovered in a New York Times investigation.
And while he did admit to those misrepresentations, he told the Post that still plans to take office.
"I am not a criminal," he told the paper.
The Times investigation alleged that Santos lied about going to New York City's Baruch College before going on to work at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. The college and those companies said they couldn't find any record of Santos's graduation or employment.
He told the Post that he "never worked directly" with those two companies, but that he worked with them through a company called Link Bridge.
Santos also said he never graduated from Baruch or any college.
"I didn't graduate from any institution of higher learning. I'm embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume," he said. "I own up to that ... We do stupid things in life."
The lawmaker-elect also came clean about his marriage to a woman. Santos is the first non-incumbent gay Republican elected to the House (other Republicans have come out while in office and were later reelected). TheDaily Beast reported last week that he was married to the woman until 2017.
"I dated women in the past. I married a woman. It's personal stuff," Santos explained to the Post. "I'm very much gay."
He said that he accepted his sexuality and that people change. "I'm one of those people who change," he said.
The Post also reports that Santos admitted to lying about owning 13 different properties. He told the outlet that he now is living with his sister but is looking for a place of his own. Santos also denied an allegation made in the Times about a criminal charge in Brazil related to him allegedly writing stolen checks. A week ago, Santos quoted former U.K. prime minister Winston Churchill and blasted the Times, claimingin Trump-ian fashion that the newspaper of record was attempting "to smear his good name."
Santos played down concerns that his lies will impinge his effectiveness as a lawmaker representing Long Island.
"I campaigned talking about the people's concerns, not my resume," Santos said.
"I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign -- fighting crime, fighting to lower inflation, improving education," he continued, adding, "The people elected me to fight for them."
The Post reports that senior House GOP lawmakers knew of the embellishments.
"As far as questions about George in general, that was always something that was brought up whenever we talked about this race," one senior Republican leadership aide told the paper. "It was a running joke at a certain point. This is the second time he's run and these issues we assumed would be worked out by the voters."
"This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective," Santos said. "I will be good."
He added, "My sins here are embellishing my resume. I'm sorry."