Rep. George Santos responds to questions about his finances
NEW YORK - Rep. George Santos gave an exclusive interview to FOX 5 News on Thursday to answer questions about his finances and an ethics investigation. But he only gave 5 minutes for the interview and had a timer sound when the 5 minutes was over.
When asked by Jodi Goldberg to comment on a recent report claiming that more than $365,000 is missing from his campaign filings, Santos pleaded ignorance.
"I don't know about any missing money. That's news to me," Santos said.
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Santos also said he loaned $705,000 from his personal finances to his campaign and doesn't understand why anyone would make a big deal about it.
"I continue to not understand why there is this enormous inquisition and inquiry into my business practices and the legitimacy of it. I've operated honestly," Santos said.
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As for all the $199 expenses on his campaign finance disclosures, just short of the amount that would require itemized receipts, he claimed they could simply be clerical mistakes.
"No one more than me wants those rectified if there is any discrepancy. I want those rectified. I'm the person of interest who want them rectified immediately," Santos said.
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Santos gave himself high marks for what he's done in his short time in Congress.
"I have many allies in Congress and we've done fantastic work together. I've very excited," Santos said. "From the moment we come back from being in recess I'm going to be introducing some original bills and I think the district is going to appreciate them because they are really district-focused bills."
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He said he has not been personally contacted by any regulatory agencies in connection with any investigations.
Santos, the 34-year-old Republican accused of lying about large swaths of his background and accomplishments,was sworn in as a member of the 118th Congress last month. Santos was elected to serve as the representative of New York’s Third Congressional District.
Initially, the victory by Santos, an openly gay Republican who flipped a Long Island House seat held by Democrats for a decade, was seen as one of his party's bright spots in an otherwise underwhelming midterm election.
But as reports began to emerge that he had lied about having Jewish ancestry, a career at top Wall Street firms, and a college degree, Santos turned into a distraction and embarrassment to the GOP.
As the timer went off on the strictly timed 5-minute interview he was asked if he planned to run for reelection.
Santos said, "I don't know yet."