Disgraced Long Island Rep. George Santos openly admitted that he “f–ked up” and “lied to everyone” — while clearly relishing the notoriety the scandal has brought him, a secret recording reveals.
The truth-averse freshman Republican congressman made the frank admission Monday while telling a volunteer that he was not being hired for a $50,000-a-year staff job — while also gushing over texts from CNN’s Don Lemon and chatting about his Botox bill.
In surreal exchanges, Santos told ex-reporter Derek Myers that he couldn’t hire him because he had been accused of making illegal recordings in the past and feared he would do the same to him.
Myers said he’d go to jail rather than tattle about their chats — but then gave the audio to Talking Points Memo (TPM).
In Monday’s meeting in the Capitol, Santos sounded sympathetic to Myers, comparing the stain on the ex-reporter’s reputation to his own political scandal for lying on his resume.
“I’ve made bad judgment calls, and I’m reaping the consequences of those bad judgment calls,” Santos told Myers with a chuckle.
He then referred to his chief of staff, Charley Lovett — who was in the room with them at the time — saying: “I trust this guy with everything.
“And I’ve obviously f–ked up and lied to him, like I lied to everyone else,” Santos said.
“And he still forgave me and gave me a second shot, unlike some other people,” he said, later blaming the press for blowing up the lies that have led to calls for his resignation.
“I trust his judgment more than my own judgment, and that’s why he’s my chief of staff,” Santos added of Lovett, praising him for having “stopped me from making stupid decisions that could have fundamentally hurt the campaign.”
“Do you know how many restless nights this dude had while I was at home sleeping and thinking and dreaming about my stupid ideas to come in the next day to drive him through the f–king wall?
“Am I lying?” Santos asked, seemingly without irony despite having just admitted he “lied to everyone.”
The recording took even more surreal turns, however, as Santos made repeated warnings against Myers making secret recordings, not knowing he was doing just that.
“From my understanding, recording in this building is a federal crime, and you get seven years. Have fun at your peril!” Santos warned.
“I would never!” Myers complained, saying he would rather go to jail than say “a f—ing word” about him to a grand jury.
“I’m loyal to death … I’m so loyal,” Myers said, days before handing the footage to TPM. “I’m not gonna go, like, on TV.”
Despite rejecting Myers for the job, the pair discussed fashion — and Botox.
“Stop going to Colombia for your diluted Botox,” Santos told Myers at one point. After the volunteer said sessions are “$400 here,” Santos said: “I spend a lot more than that on Botox.”
Santos also revealed proudly how he weighs 251 pounds despite being 330 pounds a year earlier, with a goal of “getting down to” 200.
But the highlight of their 25-minute goodbye appeared to be a text from a CNN star.
“Don Lemon just texted me — I’m sorry, I’m listening to you — Don Lemon just texted me!” Santos gushed at one point.
Myers later complained to TPM that it was “insulting” and “hurt my feelings” and was proof that everything is “all about George.”
“We’ll be talking about my livelihood and then here’s a text from Don Lemon,” Myers said.
He justified going public with the recording because of the congressman’s hypocrisy in questioning Myer’s trustworthiness while constantly getting accused of his own lies.
“I’m thinking to myself, I’m a threat and concern to this institution — George Santos, you’re George Santos!” Myers told TPM.
He admitted releasing the audio after one last chance to get a job — and leaving a Santos a mug after he failed, which read: ‘Deny everything.”
A rep for Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.