(MAINNEWS) – WASHINGTON, Embattled U.S. Representative George Santos on Thursday told reporters he would resign from office if 142 people urge him to do so, amid controversy over his string of false claims about his work and personal background during last year’s campaign for office.
“If 142 people ask for me to resign I will resign,” the Republican congressman replied to reporters as he hurriedly exited a Capitol Hill office and entered an elevator.
Reporters were unable to ask him the significance of 142.
However, upon walking into his office during a separate exchange with reporters, Santos was asked whether he would resign, and he said, “I will not resign. I will be continuing to hold my office elected by the people.”
House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that he would leave Santos’ fate up to the Ethics Committee and voters, echoing comments made the previous day.
On Wednesday, more than a dozen Republicans officials, many of them from Santos’ New York City-area district, demanded the newly elected congressman’s resignation.
Santos has admitted to fabricating much of his resume, including that he holds degrees from New York University and Baruch College and that he had worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. He also claimed he was a Jew whose grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War Two.
“He’s a complete and total fraud. Lied to the voters of the 3rd Congressional District in New York. Deceived and connived his way into Congress,” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, also from New York, told reporters.
by Richard Cowan and Moira Warburton