Earlier this month, in his first on-the-record statement rejecting calls to resign after he admitted to lying about huge swaths of his resume, a defiant Rep. George Santos insisted that he would step down only if voters turned against him. “We’ll find out in two years,” Santos said.
But Santos may not have to wait until reelection to find out. A new Siena poll, the first to directly ask registered voters in New York about their scandal-plagued congressman, revealed that 59 percent of those surveyed want Santos to step down. Seventeen percent said he should not resign, and 23 percent didn’t have an opinion.
The poll, of course, is just one snapshot of Santos’ tanking support across the Empire State. But if Santos’ tenure in Congress, as he claims, truly relies on the will of his constituents, the survey is not good news, particularly as multiple investigations into his financial background pick up steam. Let’s review just some of the lies and falsehoods surrounding Santos’ brief but tumultuous time in Congress so far:
- That 9/11 “claimed” his mother’s life
- That he’s Jewish or “Jew-ish“
- Where he went to college and high school
- That he worked on Wall Street
- Founded an animal charity
- Landed a role on Hannah Montana
My colleagues David Corn, Dan Friedman, and Noah Lanard also recently looked into allegations that Santos conned a prominent GOP donor, Andrew Intrater, who also happens to be a cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Santos’ scandals are not limited to the United States, either. As my colleague Isabela Dias has reported from Brazil:
A popular Brazilian late-night TV show called Fantástico aired a segment with new findings about Santos. The congressman reportedly used different names and nationalities—like Russian—on dating app profiles. He used variations of his name, too, including George Devolder, Anthony Devolder, and Anthony Zabrovski.
The Brazilian TV show reported that Santos splurged while living in Niterói in 2008 with his mother, who passed away in 2016, and his sister. In an interview, a woman called Adriana Damasceno claimed to have met Santos at a Bingo parlor. Damasceno said they became friends and that during a trip to the United States in 2011, he went “shopping under her name, withdrew all the money she had in the bank, and even pawned jewelry.” When asked about whether she had reported anything to authorities, Damasceno said Santos bragged about having dual citizenship—American and Brazilian—and that she felt powerless to come forward.
Where will the Santos mystery take us next? I have no clue. But New Yorkers are making it clear they’re not amused.