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Inside the mind of a fabulist

Congressman-elect George Devolder Santos joined the newly  elected GOP members of the Senate and Congress during a press conference on November. 9, 2022 in Baldwin, New York. (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images)
Congressman-elect George Devolder Santos joined the newly elected GOP members of the Senate and Congress during a press conference on November. 9, 2022 in Baldwin, New York. (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Congressman George Santos is accused of fabricating almost every aspect of his resume.

Santos says he put myself through college and got an MBA from NYU.

Another lie Santos has told —

“I sacrificed both my knees and got very nice knee replacements playing volleyball.”

Turns out, not true.

“My grandfather fleeing Ukraine in the 1920’s to Belgium.”

Also not true. His grandfather was Brazilian.

“For the Jewish folks in Congress. At one point being just two members. So now we’re going to be three.”

Also a lie. There are still two Jewish Republicans in the House, and he’s not one of them. Because he’s not Jewish.

Today, On Point: How do serial fabulists get this way? Going way beyond the little fibs …to severing all ties with the truth?

Guests

Grant Lally, publisher of The North Shore Leader, a local newspaper on the North Shore of Long Island that’s covered George Santos since 2020.

Chris Hart, professor of psychology at Texas Women’s University. Director of the Human Deception Laboratory and Psychological Science program.

Also Featured

Tali Sharot, professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, where she directs the Affective Brain Lab. (@affectivebrain)

Interview Highlights

On how George Santos won his seat in Congress

Grant Lally: “This was a very interesting thing, it’s not widely appreciated, but in 2022, he was again, running as a sacrificial lamb, a throw away candidate, someone who couldn’t win the seat, but was running to promote his name or for whatever personal reason he had. But it wasn’t to win, because there was redistricting in 2022. And the state legislature, which is all Democrat in New York, with a Democratic governor, drew a very gerrymandered map that took this district and made it into what they call a D-plus 11 or 12 district.

“It went into the Bronx and Queens, and it really wasn’t a competitive district. Then, this was the reverse bait and switch. He’s already on the ballot as a sacrificial lamb candidate in a district he can’t win. Then the top court in New York State threw out the map in June, just this past June, and assigned a new map for New York State for all the congressional districts. And that changed this district from being a hard-core Democratic district into a marginally Republican district. So suddenly, the sacrificial lamb was the nominee for a district that most Republicans could win. And this was a red wave here in New York, particularly on Long Island.”

Related Reading

North Shore Leader:The Leader Told You So: US Rep-Elect George Santos is a Fraud – and Wanted Criminal” — “In a story first broken by the North Shore Leader over four months ago, the national media has suddenly discovered that US Congressman-elect George Santos (R-Queens / Nassau) – dubbed “George Scam-tos” by many local political observers – is a deepfake liar who has falsified his background, assets, and contacts. He is fact a wanted petty criminal in Brazil.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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