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George Santos Doesn't Rule Out Plea Deal, Still Insists His Grandparents Survived the Holocaust

George Santos

The embattled GOP lawmaker George Santos tried to explain his seemingly never-ending web of lies he's spun about himself in an interview that premiered Sunday.


Fabulist gay Republican Rep. George Santos of New York sat down with CNN for a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday. In it, the embattled lawmaker said his numerous lies about his past were due to his “stupidity” and “insecurity.”

Santos said the past year had been “hell.”

“I lost privacy. I lost the ability to just have a normal life,” Santos told CNN. “Not having the ability to just, you know, take my husband, and let’s go for a walk in the park without the fear of having some psycho try to, I don’t know, hurt me or him.”

Santos Says He Made Mistakes

Santos’s lies came to light after a bombshell investigation by the New York Times. His lies included that he went to college, worked for top companies, and even claimed that his grandparents survived the Holocaust.

Since then, he’s been indicted on 23 criminal counts related to his finances — ranging from COVID-19 fraud to misusing campaign funds to lying about his personal finances. The House Ethics Committee is also investigating Santos over his financial dealings and allegations of sexual misconduct.

He’s pled not guilty to the charges. In the interview, Santos admitted he did mess up on occasion. That included including incorrect information on paperwork related to his two congressional races.

“Were there mistakes made on those forms? Now I know they were. Were they malicious? No. Did I understand the reporting date? So, this is from last year to current date this year? No, I didn’t understand how that worked, and I’m a new candidate and I’m sorry that mistakes were made.”

In the interview, he also attempted to distance himself from his ex-campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks. Marks, a longtime accountant for New York Republicans, pled guilty last month to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. She also implicated Santos in an alleged scheme.

Santos denies being involved in the scheme.

“People will say whatever they have to say cut whatever deal they have to cut in order to save their hide. And this isn’t surprising,” he said. “I’m not accusing her of anything. All I’m saying is she has her story, I’m going to come with my facts, and I’m going to tell my side of the story,”

Will Santos Take a Plea Deal?

Santos told CNN that he wasn’t “admitting anything,” but hasn’t ruled out accepting a plea deal if one should come his way.

“I’m not saying I’m not ruling out – as of right now, it’s not on the table,” Santos said. “I’m not exploring any of that right now. Those conversations are yet to be had … right now I’m pretty focused on my defense.”

Santos Still Insists His Grandparents Fled the Holocaust

One of the most bewildering lies Santos told was how he self-identified as Jewish. He had claimed before this his grandparents had been Ukrainian Jewish refugees from Belgium who fled Europe to escape the Holocaust.

The claim has been debunked by news outlets, including CNN. The network noted that no records have proven the claim to be true and the claim was contradicted by its research into Santos’s family history.

Santos said he’s spent months proving the claim to be true.

“This is the biggest lift that I’ve had to do my entire life, but that’s something I’m gonna prove before I die,” Santos told the network.“I never intended to hurt anybody. I never wanted anybody to feel like I misrepresented myself or my family’s heritage.”

Santos added: “I will not stop working until I have every single part of that put together.”

He also emphasized that he never said he was Jewish.

“I never said I was Jewish. I would always joke for years and say I’m ‘Jew-ish.’ I was raised Roman Catholic,” he said. “This is something I’ve always made very clear. I’m Catholic. I come from a Jewish family. Here’s my Jewish family’s history. Why is this now a problem?”

In November 2022, CNN notes that Santos said he was proud of his “Jewish heritage.”

He Still Has 2024 Dreams Even if He’s Expelled From Congress

Last week, Santos was saved from an expulsion vote, which was introduced by his fellow New York Republicans.

With a vote of 179 for and 213 against expelling Santos from the House and 19 voting present, the results spell a temporary reprieve for the New Yorker. Joining most Republicans who voted against expulsion were 31 Democrats.

The resolution was spearheaded by his fellow Republicans from New York, led by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito. This marked a rare instance of intra-party disciplinary action brought to the floor. However, the motion required a two-thirds majority to pass, a threshold it failed to meet.

D’Esposito and four other Republicans from New York, facing competitive races next year, had sent a letter to their colleagues on Wednesday morning urging a vote in favor of the resolution. They stressed that this was a “moral” issue, distancing from the notion of political maneuvering.

However, Santos’s future in the body is anything but certain, even after the vote. While the vote didn’t get the two-thirds required to oust Santos from the House, many who voted against the expulsion cited ongoing investigations that need to run their course.

When asked if he’d still run next year if he does get kicked out?

“Absolutely,” Santos said.

Santos’s trial is slated for September 9, 2024.

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