In an interview with CNN’s Manu Raju over the weekend, Mr Santos doubled down on his claim that his family members fled the Holocaust.
“I spent the last 10 months – DNA, hiring genealogists to actually go--” he began, with Mr Raju interrupting the New York Republican to ask if he had any proof to back up his claims.
At that point, Mr Santos quickly backpedaled about having evidence of said DNA or genealogy.
“Well, that’s what I spent the last 10 months doing, putting together. But unfortunately, Ukraine is in the middle of a freakin’ war, and my grandfather comes from Ukraine. So this is the biggest lift that I’ve had to do my entire life,” Mr Santos explained.
The serial fabulist went on to insist he’s going to prove his heritage “before I die”.
Mr Santos also sought to explain away his past claims about being Jewish, saying that he has always joked that he was “Jew-ish” as he was raised Roman Catholic, but comes from a Jewish family.
Mr Raju then clarified: “You have documented proof that you have grandparents that fled the Holocaust?”
The New York Republican responded by claiming that he’s working on getting the “last pieces” together that will show that his ancestors fled to Brazil.
“Once I have everything ready, I will allow the same company I hired to submit the report to the press, with glee, because that is going to be the one thing that I will be able to say ‘I never intended to hurt anybody. I never wanted anybody to feel like I misrepresented myself or my family’s heritage,’” Mr Santos said.
“I will not stop working until I have every single part of that put together.”
Mr Santos described himself in a position paper ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as “a proud American Jew”.
Later, he walked back on calling himself “Jewish” and clarified that he meant “Jew-ish.”
He told the The New York Post in December 2022: “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”
While his family’s ties to the Holocaust remain in question, several other claims that Mr Santos has made are now well-documented, proven falsehoods.
Among the falsehoods are claims that he attended both Horace Mann and Baruch College, that he previously worked at Goldman Sachs, and that his mother died in the 9/11 attacks — despite documentation showing she was in Brazil at the time.
Last month, the New York Republican last month alleged that his niece had been abducted by Chinese communists in New York City — which the NYPD said it had found no evidence of.
Mr Santos has also been charged with lying to Congress — along with fraud, money laundering and other charges — about his wealth. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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