George Santos Breaks Silence: ‘I Have My Story to Tell.’ (Next Week.)
Representative-elect George Santos broke his silence on Thursday, vowing that he would come forward next week to address questions surrounding his background.
Mr. Santos has been the subject of intense scrutiny following the publication of a New York Times report that raised questions about whether he misrepresented key parts of his background and finances, and filed incomplete or inaccurate congressional disclosures.
“I have my story to tell and it will be told next week,” Mr. Santos, a Republican, said on Twitter.
Mr. Santos, 34, has refused to answer any questions from The Times about his past and finances, and has only pointed to a statement released by his lawyer that accused the Times of attempting to smear him.
In the report published on Monday, The Times found that key pillars of Mr. Santos’s résumé — including his education, ties to Wall Street firms and charitable endeavors that formed the basis of his pitch to voters — could not be substantiated. Instead, The Times found a string of debts and legal trouble, including an unresolved criminal matter in Brazil, that raise questions about the congressman’s rise to power and wealth.
Mr. Santos has faced numerous calls to address The Times’s reporting. In his statement on Twitter, he said, “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. Happy Holidays to all!”
Mr. Santos’s brief statement on Twitter came a day after the incoming House minority leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, suggested that Mr. Santos appeared “to be in the witness protection program” after he spent the week avoiding the press.
“No one can find him,” Mr. Jeffries, a Democrat, said at a news conference. “He’s hiding out from legitimate questions that his constituents are asking about his education, about his so-called charity, about his work experience, about his criminal entanglement in Brazil, about every aspect, it appears, of his life.”
On Wednesday, The Forward, a Jewish publication, reported that Mr. Santos may have misled voters about his account of his Jewish ancestry, including that his maternal grandparents fled persecution around World War II.
The House Republican leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, did not answer questions about Mr. Santos on Thursday afternoon before walking onto the House floor, according to several accounts on Twitter from Washington reporters.
Mr. Santos’s lawyer, Joe Murray, told The Times earlier on Thursday that he did “not anticipate any response” to further inquiries, though he acknowledged that would be subject to change.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the New York attorney general, Letitia James, said that her office was “looking into some of the things that were raised” by The Times’s report.
Jonah E. Bromwich contributed reporting.