Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
- A prospective staffer secretly recorded Rep. George Santos, Talking Points Memo reported.
- In the recording, Santos remarks that he “lied to everyone.”
- Santos is under pressure over a series of claims he made were exposed as fabrications.
Rep. George Santos said “I’ve obviously f***ed up and lied to him, like I lied to everyone else,” in audio leaked by a prospective staffer and obtained by Talking Points Memo.
The New York Republican is facing calls to resign after a series of claims he made about his career, education and personal history were exposed as fabrications.
The recording was reportedly made on January 30 inside Santos’ office by Derek Myers, a journalist and prospective staffer that Santos ultimately decided not to hire.
Initially, they have a bizarre conversation about Brazilian candy, ties from thrift stores and Colombian Botox.
Santos then veers to addressing whether he will keep Myers on as a staffer, and raises the fact that Myers faces charges in Ohio over recording court testimony.
“It’s not concerning to us, it’s concerning to this institution,” said Santos.
Myers told TPM the remark stunned him, given the accusations Santos faces about his own misconduct.
Santos swerves to another topic, remarking that CNN host Don Lemon had just texted him.
“Don Lemon just texted me — I’m sorry, I’m listening to you — Don Lemon just texted me!” Santos said on the recording.
Santos then discussed his own personal scandals, and praised his embattled chief of staff Charley Lovett, according to the recording.
“I’ve made bad judgment calls, and I’m reaping the consequences of those bad judgment calls,” Santos said.
“I’ve obviously fucked up and lied to him, like I lied to everyone else,” Santos later added, apparently referring to Lovett. “And he still forgave me and gave me a second shot, unlike some other people.”
“I trust his judgment more than my own judgment,” Santos added.
Insider has contacted Santos’ office for comment,
Santos this week stepped down from his two committee positions, saying that he had become a distraction to congressional Republicans, but pledged to fight on and clear his name.
He has admitted lying about his past, but has sought to characterise the lies as harmless embellishments of his résumé. Among the false claims he made was that his mother died as a result of 9/11.
He faces a federal investigation over his financial affairs, and alleged theft of cash raised for a veteran’s dying dog. He also faces an investigation by authorities in Brazil over his alleged use of a stolen checkbook.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on authorities in Ohio to rescind charges filed against Myers for publishing recordings made of a murder trial.