Amid the continued revelations of a string of biographical lies from a newly elected Republican congressman, two of his old tweets in particular have drawn attention to — and further questions about — his ethnicity.
Just days after inviting more scrutiny by clarifying previous claims about his stated Jewish heritage, years-old tweets from New York Congressman-elect George Santos show he previously claimed he was “biracial.”
On Wednesday night, Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger posted screenshots of Santos’ old tweets about his racial background. And since Santos has been revealed to be all but a pathological liar, the tweets invited more scrutiny of the upstart politician who did not tell the truth about his college education, career and other aspects of his résumé and life as he ran for public office.
In the tweets from 2020, Santos invoked Dr. Martin Luther King’s name while criticizing a “black anthem” as being “divisive.” He cited his “biracial” background as a primary reason for his opposition.
When one response asked how Santos was biracial, he claimed he was “Caucasian and black.”
The tweets were still live as of early Thursday morning.
The timing of the tweets can’t be ignored, either, as the summer of 2020 was at the height of Black Lives Matter protests for racial equality.
Meanwhile, Santos’ own campaign biography said he was the son of Brazilian immigrants, a claim that does not preclude biracial status.
On Monday, Santos, who is set to represent parts of Long Island on Capitol Hill, was publicly called out for lying about being Jewish after he told the New York Post he is Catholic.
“Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish’,” Santos said.
However, the Republican Jewish Coalition said before the interview with the Post, Santos “deceived” them “and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish.”
Days later, Santos’ tweets about being half-Black were revealed.
Despite the wealth of demonstrated and proven lies from Santos, the highest levels of Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives have apparently chosen to willfully ignore the controversy. Conventional wisdom suggests that Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy has remained silent because Santos expressed support for the senior member of Congress to be the next Speaker of the House.
CNN reported on other lies Santos has told about himself:
CNN’s KFile uncovered more falsehoods from Santos, including claims he was forced to leave a New York City private school when his family’s real estate assets took a downturn and stating he represented Goldman Sachs at a top financial conference where he berated the company for investing in renewables.
CNN also reviewed more instances of Santos providing additional false history of his family’s background. In one interview, Santos said his mother’s family’s historical Jewish name was “Zabrovsky,” and later appeared to operate a GoFundMe campaign for a pet charity (which he falsely claimed was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) under that alias. Genealogists CNN previously spoke with found no evidence of Jewish or Ukrainian heritage in his family tree.
In another, he said his mother, whose family has lived in Brazil since the late 1800s, was a White immigrant from Belgium.
Now, prosecutors have opened up an investigation into Santos that could become a criminal probe, according to the Associated Press.
“The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said in announcing the investigation. “The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress. No one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
Santos has vowed to serve his full term representing New York’s 3rd Congressional District despite the controversy. He is set to be sworn into office Tuesday.