The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on Tuesday said Rep.-elect George Santos (R-N.Y.) “deceived” the organization and “misrepresented” his Jewish heritage, adding the incoming lawmaker is no longer welcome at its events.
CEO Matt Brooks said he was “disappointed” in Santos after the congressman-elect admitted to embellishing key facts about his life in two separate interviews on Monday.
“He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally he previously claimed to be Jewish,” Brooks said in a statement. “He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event.”
Santos, who flipped a Long Island House seat for the GOP, admitted in interviews with the New York Post and a local radio station that he fabricated parts of his resume. He told the Post he “never worked directly” for Wall Street firms Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and never graduated from New York’s Baruch College.
“I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” he said. “We do stupid things in life.”
Santos had also claimed on his biography website that his maternal grandparents are Jewish and fled persecution during World War II before settling in Brazil.
Several news outlets have raised questions about those claims, citing genealogy records that show his grandparents were born in Brazil before the Nazis rose to power.
Santos told the Post he is “clearly Catholic” and that his grandmother told stories about being Jewish before converting to Catholicism.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos said. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”
Santos first came under fire for embellishing his resume when The New York Times published an extensive report challenging a number of claims in his resume.
Jewish news outlets then began raising questions about his heritage, leading to an inquiry from the RJC. The organization has hosted Santos at events before, including as a conference speaker and at a Hanukkah celebration this month.
Santos, who is set to take office in January, announced last week he would soon tell his “story” after facing the allegations.
Democrats are now calling for the congressman-elect to resign or be ousted.
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