A US Republican politician has admitted to misleading voters about his professional experience and educational history, confirming some of the key findings of a New York Times investigation that found he likely misrepresented his background to voters.
George Santos, who was elected in November to represent parts of northern Long Island and northeast Queens, ended a week of near silence by giving interviews to two conservative-owned media outlets, The New York Post and WABC-AM radio.
He told the Post that even though he now admits to embellishing his resume, it would not stop him from taking office.
“I am not a criminal,” Mr Santos told the Post, adding he would still be an effective legislator. He told WABC that he still intended to be sworn in at the start of the next Congress.
Mr Santos, through representatives, has declined multiple requests to speak with the New York Times or to directly address the questions raised by its reporting.
Over the course of his campaigns, Mr Santos claimed to have graduated from Baruch College in 2010 before working at Citigroup and, eventually, Goldman Sachs. But representatives from the college and both companies said they could not locate records to confirm his graduation or employment.
In Monday’s interview, Mr Santos admitted that he had not graduated from Baruch, nor had he graduated “from any institution of higher learning”. He also said that he never worked directly for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, even though he said in campaign biographies that he had worked directly for both companies, as he made his case to voters that he was a seasoned investor and financial professional.
Instead, he said, he dealt with both firms through his work at another company, LinkBridge Investors, which connects investors with potential clients. Mr Santos said that LinkBridge had “limited partnerships” with the two Wall Street companies.
The New York Times was able to confirm Mr Santos’ employment at LinkBridge. But in a version of his campaign biography posted as recently as April, he suggested that he had started his career on Wall Street at Citigroup and that he was at Goldman Sachs briefly before his time at LinkBridge.
Representatives for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup did not immediately respond to a request for comment. - This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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