Washington, Jan 12 (IANS) Embattled US Congressman George Santos, who has admitted to lying about his educational history and professional biography, has reiterated that he would not step down.
Santos, a 34-year-old Republican elected in last year’s midterm elections to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district, tweeted on Wednesday, “I will NOT resign!”, reports Xinhua news agency
A group of Republicans — including Congressman Anthony D’Esposito, who represents New York’s 4th congressional district — urged Santos.
D’Esposito said in a statement on Wednesday that Santos’ “many hurtful lies and mistruths surrounding his history have irreparably broken the trust of the residents he is sworn to serve”.
“For his betrayal of the public’s trust, I call on Congressman George Santos to resign,” he added.
Late last year, Santos’ admission came following an investigation by The New York Times.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” he had acknowledged that time.
Even in the past, US politicians have lied about their life stories and policy proposals to court support.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, re-elected to a third term last year, built his political prominence by portraying his parents as exiles from their native Cuba.
However, The Washington Post published in 2011 found that the Republican’s account “embellishes the facts” and that “the real story of his parents’ migration appears to be a more conventional immigrant narrative”.
Herschel Walker campaigned against abortion access in 2022 as the Republican nominee for US Senate in Georgia. But his former girlfriends have accused him of encouraging or paying for abortion.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who ran for the White House several years ago, issued a public apology in 2019 for her past claims of Native American ancestry.
“Washington has created a culture where it’s acceptable to lie to further your own interest,” former US Congresswoman and Fox News contributor Tulsi Gabbard commented while reacting to Santos’ scandal.
“But even when politicians do get caught, people just shrug their shoulders and move on,” Gabbard continued. “So, no one should be surprised that the American people don’t trust these politicians.”
Public trust in Congress reached an all-time low, with only 7 per cent of Americans expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in it, according to a Gallup poll.