Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
- George Santos became angry when challenged by a reporter over his lies on the campaign trail.
- The exchange took place during an otherwise softball interview on the right-wing OAN network.
- Santos has been found to have fabricated a string of claims about his background and career.
Rep. George Santos became irate when questioned by an OAN host about the sincerity of his apology for making a series of false claims about his background and personal history.
In an interview with the far-right OAN network, host Caitlin Sinclair initially seemed to sympathize with Santos over the negative media coverage he’s received over his lies, and threw him a series of softball questions.
—One America News (@OANN) February 1, 2023
She then directly challenged him over the falsehoods, along with the sincerity of his contrition, and the mood soured.
“History has shown that the American people can pretty much forgive anything, but that starts with a sincere apology. Normally a lot of remorse shown. Prevailing opinion is you have not yet shown that,” Sinclair said.
“You know, I don’t know what you mean by that, because I have,” Santos replied, as Sinclair remarked that he seemed to be becoming angry.
“I’ve said I was sorry many times. I’ve behaved as if I’m sorry. Look, if. If you’re…If you want to compare emotions, people show emotions differently. I am sorry. I’m deeply sorry,” he said.
“And, you know, I don’t know what is asked of me right now when you ask: ‘Oh, you have not shown remorse or you don’t seem to look sorry’. I don’t know what looking sorry looks like to you, Caitlin,” he added.
On Tuesday Santos said he was stepping down from his House committee assignments until his name was cleared, remarking that his presence in Congress had become a distraction for the Republican Party.
Though he has apologised for some of his lies, he has also sought to portray them as harmless embellishments of his résumé.
In Tuesday’s interview he denied being elected on the basis of a deception.
Santos was found to have made up claims about his career, personal and family history, including that his mother was present at 9/11 and that his family fled the Holocaust. Earlier claims of Jewish ancestry have also been rowed back.
Santos is now facing investigation from federal authorities in New York over his financial affairs, and from authorities in Brazil over allegations he used a stolen checkbook.
According to one poll, 78 percent of voters in the New York congressional district he represents now want him to resign, though he has so far resisted calls to do so.