George Santos in a sweater.

George Santos

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Updated Dec 01, 2023 at 03:51PM EST by Adam.

Added Jan 04, 2023 at 12:15PM EST by Aidan Walker.

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About

George Santos (also known as Anthony Devolder) is an American politician and a Republican currently serving as a United States Congressman from New York's 3rd District. In late 2022, Santos became famous for lying about his background, education and professional history, stirring up controversy and memes referencing him across social media. Following revelations that Santos had invented much of his biography, engaged in murky financial dealings and was accused of crimes in Brazil, many internet users speculated that he would face some kind of censure in the House of Representatives going into early 2023. In January 2023, additional evidence emerged of more events in Santos' past life and alleged scams he had run, thrusting him further into the spotlight.

Background / Career

George Santos claims to have been raised in the state of New York but has made a series of conflicting claims about his background, early life and associations according to multiple reports.[9] Santos claimed he was of Brazilian and Ukrainian Jewish heritage and his family had fled the Holocaust through Belgium and Brazil.[9] Santos also claims to have attended Baruch College and New York University, to have worked for Wall Street firms like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and that his mother died in 9/11. [1]

However, a December 19th, 2022, New York Times investigative story found that none of the above claims were true.[2] The story revealed a series of other details about Santos' life and relationships, reportedly painting a picture of a habitual liar and even an alleged criminal. Following the story's publication, authorities in New York opened investigations into Santos in late 2022.

The reports alleging that Santos lied about parts of his background then spread online, becoming a topic of viral discussion on platforms like Twitter in late 2022 and early 2023. For example, on January 1st, 2023, Twitter[10] user and former Congressman Mondaire Jones tweeted about the alleged criminal history of Santos, receiving over 5,900 likes and 1,500 retweets in four days (seen below).


Mondaire Jones @MondaireJones · Jan 1 I don't know what's more ridiculous: that George Santos surprised his boyfriend with non-existent tickets to Hawaii and then stole his cell phone, or that an 18-year-old was able to quickly discover Santos was wanted by Brazilian police using a search engine. One who was close to Mr. Santos was Pedro Vilarva. Mr. Vilarva met Mr. Santos in 2014, when he was 18 and Mr. Santos was 26. Mr. Vilarva found him charming and sweet. They dated for a few months before Mr. Santos suggested they move in together. Mr. Vilarva said he felt on top of the world - even if he said he did find himself footing many of the bills. "He used to say he would get money from Citigroup, he was an investor," Mr. Vilarva recalled. "One day it's one thing, one day it's another thing. He never ever actually went to work," he said. Things began to unravel between the two men in early 2015, Mr. Vilarva said, after Mr. Santos surprised him with tickets to The New York Times alı 119 1,647 "I woke up in the morning, and I packed my stuff all in trash bags, and I called my father and I left," he said. Looking back, Mr. Vilarva said, he was young and gullible: He wanted to believe Mr. Santos's many stories and believe in the life that they shared. Today he is worried about the impact Mr. Santos might have as an elected official. "I would be scared to have someone like that in charge - having so much power in his hands," he said. André Spigariol and Manuela Andreoni contributed reporting from Brazil. Michael Gold is a reporter covering transit and politics 5,938 ←] :

Santos first ran for U.S. Congress in 2020 and lost. In 2022, he then ran again as the Republican nominee in a district including parts of Long Island and Queens, ultimately winning the race.

According to reports in late 2022, Santos allegedly committed check fraud in Brazil in 2008, reportedly stealing a man's checkbook and spending his money. Following his election to Congress, Brazilian authorities reopened the case purportedly because they found an address where they could be sure to reach him — his new Congressional office.

Online Reactions

Memes referencing the revelations about Santos were also circulated in Brazil in early 2023. For example, Twitter user and journalist melissaeweiss posted a meme on January 4th under the caption, "If you want to know how far the George Santos memes have gone, a Brazilian friend who lives in Rio just sent me this," receiving over 120 likes in roughly 24 hours (shown below).


A Timeless Classic of American Political Theatre Fibber on the Roof Starring George Santos Tevye as

Santos' reported fabrications and lies about his background continued to spread around the internet in December 2022 and January 2023, a month-and-a-half after his election to Congress. Many social media users expressed confusion during this period over how the news had not come out before the election, some seeing it as a serious problem that almost no media had noticed or reported on the lies.[11]

In response to criticism for claiming he was Jewish without having Jewish ancestry, Santos replied that he was “Jew-ish,” leading to many comparisons to the type of humor on Seinfeld and much mockery online. For example, on December 27th, 2022, Twitter user @adamkopolik compared Santos to Cosmo Kramer, earning just over 3,600 likes in a week (seen below, left).[6] That same day, Twitter user @jasonselvig tweeted about the "Jew-ish" remark too, getting over 14,000 likes in a similar timeframe (seen below, right).[7]


Adam Koplik @adamkoplik KRAMER: I never said I was Jewish, Jerry JERRY: Then what did you say?! KRAMER: I said I was Jew-ish *pop* they forgot the hyphen JERRY: They forgot the hyphen?! KRAMER: They forgot the hyphen, Jerry! Dan Diamond @ddiamond Dec 27, 2022 "I never claimed to be Jewish," Santos said. "I said I was Jew-ish.'" George Santos, GOP congressman-elect, admits some lies and tries to spin others.nypost.com/2022/12/26/rep.. Show this thread 2:51 AM Dec 27, 2022 396.4K Views 464 Retweets 16 Quote Tweets 3,249 Likes : Jason Selvig @jasonselvig If a politician can survive "I didn't say I was Jewish, I said I was Jew-ish" then this country doesn't stand a chance. 4:23 PM Dec 27, 2022 . 691.2K Views 1,058 Retweets 42 Quote Tweets 14.3K Likes :

Santos Seated at the House of Representatives

On January 3rd, 2023, George Santos was then seated (but not yet sworn in) in the House of Representatives but sat conspicuously alone the entire time, with seemingly no other lawmakers associating with him.[3] That same day, Twitter user @ettingermentum compared Santos to the Emo Wolf meme, earning over 1,100 likes in roughly 24 hours (shown below).[4]


ettingermentum (tonesetter) @ettingermentum. Jan 3 Emily Wilkins @emrwilkins Jan 3 George Santos is on the floor, sitting in the far back corner. While other members are mingling and chatting, he's sitting alone. ₁50.4K 8 1 51 1,122 :

Many users also tweeted about Santos and "imposter syndrome," writing that his story proved they shouldn't worry about it. For example, on January 3rd, 2022, Twitter user @AmandaDuberman tweeted about Santos and imposter syndrome, earning just over 230 likes in a day (shown below).[5]


Amanda Duberman @AmandaDuberman George Santos is being sworn into Congress today if you needed a reminder not to let imposter syndrome get the best of you 2:33 PM Jan 3, 2023 9,641 Views 61 Retweets 1 Quote Tweet 230 Likes :

GoFundMe Veteran Dog Scam Allegations

On January 18th, 2023, veteran Rick Oshtoff stated that he believed George Santos (who at the time went by the name Anthony Devolder) had allegedly cheated him out of $3,000 after starting a GoFundMe to save Oshtoff's dog Sapphire, who was sick with a large tumor. Oshtoff, who was homeless at the time, claims Santos/Devolder raised the money for Sapphire online and then pocketed it for himself, leaving the dog to die.[12] A screenshot of a text chat between Oshtoff and Devolder/Santos, shared with CNN, also circulated online at the time (seen below).[15]


Anthony DeVolder far. And the remaining will be used if applicable. If she is a candidate for the surgery. Keep in mind FOPU is a reputable organizations F we care for many animals and have the up most respect for every single one! 20:04 Remember it is our credibility that got Gofundme them seves to contribute! We are audited like every 501c3 and we are with the highest standards of integrity. You have to remember every ride and every life you take from volunteers are paid for. Gas,tolls,lunch. All of that! Everyone has collaborated View all 20:00 My dog is going to die because of god knows what. That fatty deposit is benign. It needs removal, and I'm sick of being jerked around. I'll take her to another vet, but that cash was raised on her behalf. It's 3x the size it was in April. And your NOT coming for the ride FOPU will handle this from now on only with the animal! We do not drive people around nor do we give them rides we transport ANIMALS in NEED not needy owners! 20:04 20:05 Further to this cadê sapphire is not a candidate for the surgery the funds are moved to the next animal in need and we will make sure we use of resources to keep her comfortable! : 20:06

Online, many reacted to the viral story of Sapphire's death in the following days, pointing to it as purported evidence of Santos not being fit for office. For example, Twitter user @brianklaas called Santos and his party "shameless," earning over 1,000 likes in less than a day on January 19th.[18]


Brian Klaas @brianklaas George Santos is basically what would happen if a political scientist designed an experiment to test how shameless modern GOP politics has become. Like "What would happen if we had someone run who invented their entire life story and let a dog die for profit?" Let's find out! 6:08 PM Jan 19, 2023 2,903 Views 40 Retweets 2 Quote Tweets 147 Likes :

On January 19th, Santos himself then denied the allegations, originally writing a tweet featuring the word "reduce," before deleting that tweet and posting another with the word "rescue" instead (seen below).[17]


George Santos @Santos4Congress · 1h The reports that I would let a dog die is shocking & insane. My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love & hard work. Over the past 24hr I have received pictures of dogs I helped reduce throughout the years along with supportive messages. These distractions won't stop me! t 666 3,381 563 ₁449.6K

Drag Queen Allegations

On January 19th, 2023, journalist Marisa Kabos shared an interview she had conducted with Eula Rochard, a Brazilian drag queen who claimed to have performed with Santos over a decade ago. Rochard stated that Santos was purportedly going by the name Anthony at the time but onstage called himself Kitara. The original thread (seen below, left) earned over 42,000 likes in less than 12 hours.[13] Eula Rochard also posted photos of Santos in drag on Rochard's own social media and claimed that the young Kitara/Anthony was "a liar."[14] Many online posted side-by-side photos of Santos' official Congressional portrait and a picture of Kitara, comparing the two. One such example was tweeted by @EndTheMisery (seen below, right), who earned over 1,200 likes on January 19th.[19]


Marisa Kabas @MarisaKabas - 20h NEW: I just spoke by phone with Eula Rochard, a Brazilian drag queen who was friends with George Santos when he lived near Rio. She said everyone knew him as Anthony (*never* George), or by his drag name, Kitara, and confirms this photo is from a 2008 drag show at Icaraí Beach. Eula Rorard e Kitara Ravache 1,786 14.9K 41.5K ₁ 10.7M EndtheMisery @Endthemisery1.11h Get out your 2023 Bingo cards y'all. We have George Santos aka drag queen Kitara Ravache. Who had this on their card? 111 447 arochard 10m See translation > 1,019 ₁40.6K HARG :

Santos, who is openly gay, notably ran as a hard-right candidate. As such, his membership as a Republican was also discussed and criticized online amid the allegations as many believe the party was pushing for measures to ostracize queer Americans at the local, state and federal levels during the time.

As the story spread on social media and was widely covered in the media, he denied the allegations via tweet shortly after denying the controversial claims about the dog and GoFundMe fundraiser (seen below).[16]


George Santos @Santos4Congress 4h The most recent obsession from the media claiming that I am a drag Queen or "performed" as a drag Queen is categorically false. The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results. I will not be distracted nor fazed by this. 1,467 7,175 1,197 ₁1.4M ↑

Ethics Report Findings

In November of 2023, the House Ethics Committee found that George Santos had inappropriately used campaign contributions to pay for luxury goods and notably, subscriptions to OnlyFans. As a result, many OnlyFans creators online claimed that Santos was subscribed to them, with some going so far as to claim the congressman had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on them.

Expulsion From Congress

On December 1st, 2023, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to expel Santos, leading to a flurry of ironic farewells on social media.

Online Presence

George Santos maintains an official campaign website, which has a version of his biography on it.[8]

External References

Recent Videos 1 total

Recent Images 34 total


Top Comments

Revic
Revic

The only requirement for congress is to run in a district gerrymandered to your advantage and vote the party line. Your colleagues might not like you or respect you, but they'll never have the integrity to risk losing the advantage you've given them.

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