Congressman-elect Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), who is Jewish, called out embattled New York Republican George Santos for false claims that his family narrowly escaped the Holocaust, in addition to his self-admitted lies about his work and college history.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday, Moskowitz listed some of Santos’ other “embellishments,” including that he lost employees in the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Florida.
Moskowitz said Santos is “trafficking in lies… that he has family members that escaped the Holocaust. The idea that there is someone who now serves in Congress who … would come up with a lie that he had family members close to him his grandparents escaped one of the world’s greatest tragedies. It’s just the lowest form of humanity.”
The Florida politician’s great grandparents were killed at Auschwitz and his grandparents barely escaped Europe thanks to the Kindertransport, a rescue effort that saved children, but not their parents, just before the outbreak of World War II.
Moskowitz also objected to Santos’ attempt to downplay his claims of being Jewish by explaining that he is a Catholic who is merely “Jew-ish.”
“He doesn’t belong in Congress, he cheapens, quite frankly, everybody else, Republicans and Democrats that are coming up to Washington to do the people’s business that have worked really hard and earned the ability to be there,” said Moskowitz.
Given that Republicans in the U.S. House hold a majority going into 2023, Moskowitz was doubtful that the party would refuse to seat Santos despite his having admitted to multiple lies, including having Jewish heritage, working at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and earning a degree from Baruch College.
Moskowitz called Santos’ lies about his family escaping the Holocaust the “pièce de resistance” on top of his resume-padding.
Santos, for his part, has insisted he’s “not a criminal,” saying “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.” He told WABC radio on Dec. 26, “I’m not gonna make excuses for this, but a lot of people overstate on their resumes. I’m not saying I’m not guilty of that.”
Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly, who is a Republican, said in a statement on Wednesday that Santo’s false claims were “nothing short of stunning.” He is also being investigated for financial irregularities.
“The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress,” Donnelly wrote. “If a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
Santos is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3, when the House reconvenes. If he does assume office, he could face investigations by the House Committee on Ethics and the Justice Department, NPR reports.