(WASHINGTON) — New York Rep.-elect George Santos on Monday sought to defend himself after a New York Times report detailed multiple discrepancies in his background, including contradictions about where he worked and went to school.
In a statement, Joseph Murray, an attorney for Santos, who is a Republican, claimed the Times was participating in a “smear” campaign against Santos by publishing its investigation, which Murray called a “shotgun blast of attacks.”
As the Times first reported, parts of Santos’ biography about his education, career and charity are being disputed by public records and the schools and companies he claims were involved.
Representatives for New York University and Baruch College confirmed to ABC News that they have no record of Santos attending their institutions.
However, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) website states he received degrees from NYU and Baruch. His campaign website also said he graduated from Baruch.
The same biography on the NRCC site claimed that Santos worked for companies such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. But a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs told ABC News that they have no record of Santos ever being employed there. Citigroup has not returned ABC’s request for comment.
According to an archived version of campaign website, Santos previously said he ran a 501(c)(3) charity called Friends of Pets United, but a search on the IRS’ website did not find a listing for a charity under that name.
The mention of Friends of Pets United appears to have been removed from Santos’ campaign website.
ABC News also reviewed Santos’ financial disclosure forms filed in the House, where he reported having a $750,000 income through the Devolder Organization — which his website previously called his “family firm,” where he oversaw $80 million in client assets as the managing principal.
However, following a search, ABC News could not find a website or LinkedIn page for the organization. Additionally, Santos did not identify any clients of the firm on his financial disclosure forms.
“George Santos represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by – a gay, Latino, immigrant and Republican who won a Biden district in overwhelming fashion by showing everyday voters that there is a better option than the broken promises and failed policies of the Democratic Party,” Murray, Santos’ attorney, said in his statement.
The scrutiny surrounding Santos’ background comes a few weeks before he is supposed to be sworn in as a member of the House following his history-making win in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. Defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman and flipping the seat from blue to red helped the GOP clinch their slim majority in the House.
In addition, the election marked the first time two openly gay men ran against each other.
ABC reached out to House GOP leadership, including Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik, and has not received comment.
In August, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pushed out a press release on Santos and his financial background, highlighting how his animal charity was not listed in the IRS database.
ABC News’ Lauren Peller and Trish Turner contributed to this report.
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