Santos statements about mother’s death, 9/11 come under scrutiny

Statements that Rep.-elect George Santos (R-N.Y.) made last year about his mother’s death have come under scrutiny in the aftermath of a series of revelations about false statements he made about himself during his campaign for the House.

In one tweet Santos posted in July 2021, he responded to an account with the display name “9/11 was a victimless crime” by saying “9/11 claimed my mothers life… so I’m blocking so I don’t ever have to read this again.”

But in another tweet that December, Santos said Dec. 23 of that year marked the five-year anniversary of his mother’s death, indicating she had died in 2016.

The Hill has reached out to Santos’s campaign for clarification.

Journalist Yashar Ali first reported the two tweets on Wednesday.

Santos says on his campaign website that his mother was in the South Tower of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks and survived that day. But it says she died “a few years later” after losing her battle with cancer.

An obituary for Santos’s mother states that she died on Dec. 23, 2016.

The scrutiny comes as Santos faces backlash after admitting he made several false claims about his educational, work and personal background while running to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District. Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman by about 8 points, which helped seal the GOP’s narrow majority in the House.

Some of the false claims Santos made while running as a candidate include that he is a “proud American Jew,” graduated from Baruch College in New York and owned 13 properties. He has since said he “never claimed to be Jewish” and admitted he never graduated from college and owned no properties.

Both local and federal officials have launched investigations into Santos over his false claims, and many Democrats have called on him to resign. A few incoming and current Republican members of the House have said Santos should face an investigation or that the House Republican Conference should evaluate his role in the party and the House.

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