Disgraced Long Island Rep. George Santos isn’t just refusing to resign, he’s vowing to run again — brazenly claiming to have “lived an honest life” despite being caught out in a series of lies.
The under-fire rookie lawmaker made the confusing claim Thursday in a podcast chat with fellow scandal-scarred Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), in which Santos addressed mushrooming calls for his resignation.
“I’ve worked my entire life — I’ve lived an honest life,” Santos, 34, told Gaetz, who downplayed the way his fellow Republican “embellished his resume” by describing it as something most lawmakers do.
“I’ve never been accused of any bad doing,” added Santos, who faces investigations at the local, state and federal level in connection to the funding of his House campaign — as well as in Brazil for alleged check fraud.
Santos also vowed to seek a second term in 2024, despite demands that he step down from his fellow New York Republicans and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who told CNN Thursday night that Santos’ “fraudulent candidacy” had “hoaxed his voters.”
“I came here to serve the people, not politicians and party leaders,” Santos told Gaetz, a guest host on Steve Bannon’s “The War Room” podcast.
“I was elected by 142,000 people — until those same 142,000 people tell me they don’t want me … we’ll find out in two years,” he said.
Santos first admitted to The Post Dec. 26 that he had lied during his campaign about graduating from Baruch College and NYU and working for top investment firms Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
During the campaign, he also made false claims about his personal life, including that he was a “proud American Jew” whose grandparents escaped Nazi persecution in Europe.
Gaetz repeatedly dismissed Santos’ confessed lies, saying at one point: “Embellishing one’s resume isn’t a crime, it’s frankly how a lot of people get to Congress.”
“I would offer that if we didn’t see people on committees who embellish their resume running for Congress, we probably wouldn’t be able to make a quorum in any of those committees,” the Florida man added with a chuckle.
Asked about reports that he’d donated more than $700,000 toward his own campaign, Santos turned it into an attack on President Biden and his disgraced son, Hunter.
“I’ll tell you where [his campaign cash] didn’t come from — it didn’t come from China, Ukraine or Burisma. How about that,” he said with a smirk, referring to the first son’s shady dealings.
“Didn’t come from Burisma, didn’t come from Ukraine, Russia, China, unlike some folks that we all know that get money from those sources,” he repeated knowingly.
For now, Santos vowed to “deliver 110%” on his promises to voters.
“I’m going to outwork any of the pundits and talking heads that are out there saying that I should resign, that I’m unfit for office,” he said.
“All of the people calling me to resign — I beat them by double their margins because I outwork every single one of them.”
Gaetz used the chat to make light of his own scandals, including a federal sex trafficking investigation.
“One thing I know about this town, they come for the fighters,” the Florida lawmaker told Santos with a smile.
“I’d ask you what it’s like to be an embattled congressman, but I kinda know a little bit about that scene.”
Gaetz told listeners and viewers that he was hosting the chat because Bannon was “on assignment.”
He did not mention, however, that the one-time strategist to then-President Donald Trump was in Manhattan court Thursday for the latest hearing in his fraud trial in connection with the “We Build The Wall” fundraising scam.