In a 2020 podcast episode, Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) discussed a theory that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019, could still be alive.
He said while he believes that Epstein is dead, he “wouldn’t put it past” the former financier still being alive. Santos also latched on to the popular conspiracy that Epstein did not hang himself in his Manhattan jail cell, but was actually murdered.
“I wouldn’t put it past me that he’s still walking around us and we’re all like, ‘Oh my god, the guy is alive,’ and we can’t tell,” Santos said on the newly resurfaced episode of the “The Rory Sauter Show.“
“You know what, it’s 2020, anything can happen,” he continued.
Santos later added, “The whole story is just so skewed. He didn’t hang himself, he was murdered.”
Epstein died by suicide in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while he was awaiting a trial on allegations that he trafficked dozens of minors for sex. The medical examiner ruled that his death was a suicide by hanging shortly after.
Santos, who was a 2020 congressional candidate at the time, also claimed that he met Epstein in person.
“I met Epstein in a couple of private equity conferences,” Santos said. “I’ve never dealt with him personally, but I’ve met him, I’ve seen him.”
Santos also said that Ghislaine Maxwell, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June for assisting Epstein in sexually abusing underage girls, should have been held in a separate country as she waited trial so that she had protections to keep her from being harmed.
“She should be offered the protections of being in a foreign custodianship so that she is not murdered like Epstein was,” Santos said.
“I’m not a big conspiracy theorist here, but I know she holds the key to a lot of careers being obliterated, and that goes from politicians, businessmen and other influential people in this country,” he added. “She should not be in custody in the United States.”
In 2021, a jury convicted Maxwell of sex trafficking, transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts and two conspiracy charges. At her sentencing in June, Maxwell said that the “greatest regret of my life … that I ever met Jeffrey Epstein.”
Despite repeated calls for his resignation, Santos has said that he will not resign from Congress amid revelations that he fabricated his personal experience and resume, including lying about working on Wall Street, claiming to be Jewish, claiming to have grandparents who fled the Holocaust and claiming to be a volleyball player on a championship college team.
Nearly half of New York Republicans said in a poll that he should resign.
On the 2020 podcast, Santos stuck to his lie about working on Wall Street, saying that he has been in financial services for 11 years.