New York Rep. George Santos claimed he had been the victim of an attempted murder, and that he was mugged in broad daylight while walking down Fifth Avenue in summer 2021. These assertions were resurfaced by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, who broadcast sections of an interview Santos did with the Brazilian podcast Rádio Novelo in early December last year, shortly after he won the election.
In the interview with Rádio Novelo, Santos described a series of crimes he’d experienced, suggesting that he had been targeted for some because of his affiliation with the Republican Party.
For example, he alleged that he and his husband found their home in New York had been vandalized after they attended a party in Florida hosted by Republicans at the end of 2020.
“It was vandalized because we were at a Republican party,” he said in Portuguese.
Santos then described more violent ways he’d been victimized.
“We have already suffered an attempt on my life, an assassination attempt, a threatening letter, having to have the police escort standing in front of our house,” he said in Portuguese. In Portuguese, the word for “assassination” also means “murder,” so it’s unclear exactly what he meant by the statement.
Santos’ office didn’t return a request for comment on the latest unearthed assertions. He has remained defiant amid calls for his resignation from within his own party.
Back at the end of 2020, Santos did indeed post several pictures on Facebook and Twitter from a controversial Mar-a-Lago New Years Eve Party hosted at then-President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach resort on Dec. 31, 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Jan. 2 2021, he posted on Facebook about being targeted for having attended a party at Mar-a-Lago, though what exactly happened wasn’t clear from the social media post.
“My fiancé and I had to leave our home this evening with our four dogs,” he wrote, blaming the attack on backlash he faced for attending the New Year’s Eve party. “The violence against us is real.”
On Twitter, he wrote that stones and eggs had been thrown at his house.
An NYPD spokesperson said there were no crimes reported at a Whitestone, Queens address where Santos reportedly lived with his sister between 2020 and last December, though it’s unclear if he lived at another location at the time of the incident.
Suffolk County Police were looking into whether an incident like this or any other crimes were reported at an address in Huntington, where neighbors reportedly also saw Santos coming and going as if he lived there during the campaign. That rental was paid for through Santos’ federal campaign funds, FEC records show, though those payments didn’t begin until 2022.
An NYPD spokesperson was researching whether or not there was a record of that mugging given Santos’ description of events, but could not immediately provide a definitive answer.
Gothamist reviewed Santos’ Facebook and Twitter posts from the summer of 2021 and couldn’t find any mention of the supposed mugging, though he mentioned several other violent incidents, railed about public safety, and even described moving from Queens to Long Island, citing concerns about public safety.
George Santos has faced backlash and probes for telling a series of exaggerations, embellishments, and outright lies ahead of his electoral win last November. Those deceptions include – but aren’t limited to – fabricating where he went to school, where he worked, and his ethnicity.
Santos has previously alleged that he had been a victim of violent crime. In December, as Gothamist reported, Santos claimed to have been mugged on his way to drop off a rent check during an eviction proceeding. The NYPD was unable to locate a record of the incident.