Rep.-Elect George Santos, R-N.Y., is not running away from having fabricated key details about his life that he has called “embellishments” — others call them outright lies — but it remains to be seen if this bold strategy is helping his case.
After sitting down for an interview with the New York Post, Santos appeared Tuesday evening on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” with guest host Tulsi Gabbard filling in and the former congresswoman granted him no quarter, asking at one point, “Do you have no shame?”
(Video: Fox News)
Among the claims Santos has made that have proven to be untrue are that he was Jewish, that he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and graduated from Baruch College.
“Congressman-elect Santos, thank you for joining us today,” the soft-spoken fill-in host began. “First question I really want to ask you, now that all of this has been revealed, is, what does the word ‘integrity’ mean to you?”
“To answer your question, integrity is very important,” Santos began. “Like I said to the ‘New York Post,’ embellishing my resume was a mistake — “
Any thoughts that he may be getting off easy due to Gabbard’s tranquility went out the window right away as she interjected, “What does it mean, though? What does it mean? Because the meaning of the word matters in practice.”
“Of course. It means to carry yourself in an honorable way. I made a mistake. I think humans are flawed and we all make mistakes, Tulsi,” Santos replied. “I think we can all look at ourselves in the mirror and admit that once in our life we made a mistake. I’m having to admit this on national television, for the whole country to see, and I have the courage to do so because I believe that in order to move past this and in order and be an effective member of Congress, I have to face my mistakes. And I am facing them.”
“The reality is, is that I remain committed to doing everything I set forward in my campaign,” he continued. “I am not a fraud, I’m not a fake. I didn’t materialize from thin air. I worked damn hard to get where I got my entire life. Life wasn’t easy, it didn’t start off easy. As I said many, many times, I come from abject poverty. I made some mistakes and I own up to them. And now I want to put them past me so I can deliver for the American people.”
Gabbard continued to press.
“The thing is, congressman-elect, integrity means, yes, carrying yourself with honor, but it means telling the truth,” she said. “Being a person of integrity, if I were one of those in New York’s Third District right now, now that the election is over and I’m finding out all of these lies that you’ve told — not just one little lie or one little embellishment — these are blatant lies. My question is, do you have no shame? Do you have no shame in the people who are now — you are asking to trust you to go and be their voice for them, their families and their kids in Washington?”
Santos failed to answer the stinging question, opting instead to pivot and attack dishonest Democrats.
“I can say the same thing about the Democrats and the party,” he said. “Look at Joe Biden. Joe Biden has been lying to the American people for 40 years, he is the president of the United States. Democrats resoundingly support him. Do they have no shame? I made this very clear, I made a mistake — “
“This is not about the Democratic Party, though,” Gabbard interrupted. “This is about your relationship, frankly, with the people who entrusted you to go and fight for them.”
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