A Wednesday “Morning Joe” panel convened to discuss GOP Rep-elect George Santos’ embellishments, fabrications and lies about his background and even speculated about the politician’s mental state, claiming that his falsifications could be rooted in a psychological disorder.
After showing footage from Tulsi Gabbard’s Fox News interview with the congressman-elect in which he doubled down on some of his fabrications, journalist Katty Kay claimed that Santos’ behavior and multiple falsifications could be rooted in a psychological disorder.
“Last I looked up what it was to be a serial liar on this scale, it says you have to have a narcissistic personality disorder, which may be what Mr. Santos has, but it does look like he’s going to get into office,” Kay said.
In various interviews with the New York Post and other publications this week, Santos admitted to “embellishing” his resume, and said that he did not, in fact, graduate from college. He also admitted that he never worked “directly” for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs, calling his previous claim a “poor choice of words.” He did, however, insist that despite his poor choice of words, he did business with both companies and helped make “capital introductions.”
Santos has also been slammed for calling himself an “American Jew,” claiming that his maternal grandparents fled Europe during World War II, though reports revealed that those same grandparents were born in Brazil before the war.
National affairs analyst John Heilemann also made clear that he thought what Santos did went beyond “embellishing,” as he “fabricated large things” and engaged in “fabulism, making up things and lying” on his resume. Though ultimately, Santos is attempting to take accountability — and may get into office — Heilemann claimed that someone who is “pathological” will continue similar behavior.
“As we’ve seen already, he’s starting to turn himself into a victim,” Heilemann said. “He’s like ‘Well, I’ve already answered these questions, and everybody does this. Life is hard and we all make mistakes.’ Dude, that is a guy exhibiting some instability in his psyche. I would suggest that although he may get into office, some of the personality traits that have come out here suggest he may have other rocky experiences ahead for himself.”
Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times and MSNBC political analyst, pointed out that the public pressure Santos is facing right now may still not be enough to properly disqualify the politician from the job, as he seems to be ignoring it all and carrying on.
“I think what we’ve seen in the last few years, if you’re brazen enough to simply ignore or defy public pressure … that you might be able to survive,” Baker said. “People, in fact, won’t call you out; people, in fact, won’t pull the trigger to force you to resign or not take your seat.”
He continued: “Shamelessness and brazenness have become the coins of the realm in recent years. [Santos] may surivive…but there’s not a lot of history of Congress expelling his own members.”
Baker also noted that Santos’ situation was a “more extreme” case of resume embellishing than usual, saying “you don’t normally see as pathologically expansive as this particular case, and I think that’s what makes it so different.”