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George Santos insists he’s donating his congressional salary, but he won’t say where it’s going: ‘I owe you no explanation’

Rep. George Santos of New York in his office ahead of the State of the Union address on February 7, 2023.Rep. George Santos of New York in his office ahead of the State of the Union address on February 7, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

  • Rep. George Santos has pledged several times to donate his entire congressional salary.
  • But he refuses to reveal details of the supposed donations, raising questions about their veracity.
  • “I owe you no explanation to what I do with my salary,” he told Insider at the Capitol on Thursday.

Among the most eyebrow-raising promises that Rep. George Santos made during his campaign was his pledge to donate the entirety of his $174,000 congressional salary.

It suggested that the now scandal-plagued New York Republican is personally wealthy, despite a history of theft, failing to pay debts, evictions, and even stiffing fellow Republican campaigns.

Yet his office reiterated that donation pledge in January, telling Insider that Santos would make charitable contributions to organizations “such as a soup kitchen, or animal shelter” on a quarterly basis, which would mean that his first donation is taking place this month.

Two weeks ago, spokeswoman Naysa Woomer told Insider that “updates will be available at a later time,” declining to provide further details.

But now, Santos says he won’t disclose any information about where that money is going, leaving the public unable to verify whether he actually makes a contribution, or if it’s yet another lie.

“Is there a requirement for an annual report that I should submit to you?” asked Santos when approached by Insider at the Capitol on Thursday. “The answer is no… I owe you no explanation to [sic] what I do with my salary.”

Pressed about why he’s resisting disclosing details, Santos alluded to his own poor reputation — which stem from the myriad lies he told during his campaign, the shunning he’s received from his Republican colleagues, and the various criminal and House investigations that he now faces.

“Do you think I’m going to burden the nonprofits that I’m going to write checks to, so people of the likes of you can go harass them?” asked Santos. “They have busy work to do. Come on!”

Pointing out that he’s not legally required to disclose his salary donation details, Santos said that he still planned to make a salary donation announcement, but without any details.

“When the donations are made, we will [make an announcement],” he said. “But not to where or who, because I don’t want people like you bothering them.”

Asked when an announcement would take place, Santos offered no timetable.

“Don’t stand up waiting, you’ll get tired,” he said. “Take a seat, it might take a while.”

Reached for comment, spokeswoman Woomer reiterated what Santos said — but said there would no longer be any announcement.

“The Congressman is donating his quarter salary to multiple organizations,” said Woomer. “Due to the media attention, these organizations/nonprofits have requested to remain anonymous. We have chosen to honor their wishes, and therefore an announcement will not take place.”

‘Every penny will go towards the fight against Socialism’

Over the course of two congressional campaigns, Santos repeatedly said he wouldn’t accept a salary, and would instead donate the entire $174,000 sum. 

Each time he made that pledge, it took on a slightly different form.

In December 2020, after losing his first election, Santos wrote on Twitter that he “never intended” to accept a congressional salary and indicated that his salary was “designated” to be donated to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I don’t need to leech off the tax payer dime and I intend to keep it that way,” he wrote.

—George Santos (@Santos4Congress) December 8, 2020

In May 2021, he again wrote on Twitter that he would “not accept a congressional salary at all.”

—George Santos (@Santos4Congress) May 8, 2021

And in September 2021, he told the New York Young Republican Club that he would “never take a salary” and that “every penny will go towards the fight against Socialism.”

On Monday, Santos announced that he’s running for re-election, despite raising a negative sum over the last three months, facing calls for his resignation from fellow House Republicans from New York, and an ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Ethics.

The New York congressman does not sit on any House committees, and none of the eleven bills he’s introduced have garnered any co-sponsors.

Read the original article on Business Insider