George Santos doubles down on Jewish heritage claims and makes big promise

Washington DC - Indicted New York Representative George Santos is back to insisting he is Jewish – and he's promising proof to back up the latest twist in the ongoing saga of his disputed background.

New York Representative George Santos promised to produce evidence of his Jewish background, which he has alternately played up and backtracked on.
New York Representative George Santos promised to produce evidence of his Jewish background, which he has alternately played up and backtracked on.  © REUTERS

First, he claimed he was "a proud American Jew." Then he insisted that he only joked about being "Jew-ish."

Now, George Santos is returning to his original stance – sort of. His newfound detective skills have apparently brought him close to producing evidence that his family escaped the Holocaust before moving to Brazil.

In an interview with CNN's Manu Raju, the 35-year-old fabulist explained that he "spent the last 10 months... putting together" genealogical documentation to prove his Jewish heritage.

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So what's the delay? Despite birth certificates showing his maternal grandparents were born in Brazil, Santos says that these are forged and that his grandfather actually hailed from Ukraine, which of course has been battling the Russian invasion since February 2022, complicating his search for documentation that proves his claim.

But in the same breath, he yet again said, "I never claimed I was Jewish," before launching into the same "Jew-ish" story – a quip that he assured Raju everyone found funny when they first heard it.

In December last year, CNN spoke to multiple genealogists and Holocaust historians who confirmed there were no records showing Jewish heritage in the Santos family line.

While admitting to lying about everything under the sun – from his supposed volleyball exploits, to his educational and professional careers – Santos told Raju that the fabrications have nothing to do with his ability to deliver on his political promises. The 23 federal charges he faces might be a different matter, though.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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