Saturday Night Live returned from a month-long hiatus with lots of news to catch up on – including the revelations that Rep. George Santos, a Republican from New York, lied about his resume and his Jewish ancestry, the latter of which was first reported by the Forward.
Cast member Bowen Yang took on the role of Santos, appearing in two skits on last night’s episode. In the “Weekend Update” segment, he elaborated on his “Jew-ish” heritage.
“My grandparents were in the Holocaust,” Yang as Santos said. “They actually knew Anne Frank. My ancestors were the ones that told her, ‘You should be writing this down.’”
Referencing Santos’ claim that he attended Baruch College, Yang said, “I graduated on a volleyball scholarship from Baruch Atah Adonai University. He paused, before adding, “four years of mishegas.”
Yang’s Santos character also appeared in the opening skit on Saturday’s episode, in which he played a sideline reporter with an embellished resume at an NFL game.
In December, The New York Times published a blockbuster expose alleging that much of what Santos, 34, had claimed about his education, wealth, business experience, and even where he lives is false or at least questionable.
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Santos, a Long Island Republican, has said that his father was Catholic and his mother was Jewish, and that both faiths “are mine.” The very first line of the “About George” page on his campaign website states: “George’s grandparents fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII.”
But the website myheritage.com lists Santos’ maternal grandparents as having both been born in Brazil before the Nazis rose to power — his grandfather, Paulo Horta Devolder, in 1918, and his grandmother, Rosalina Caruso Horta Devolder, also in Rio, in 1927. An online obituary for Santos’ mother, Fatima Aziza Caruso Horta Devolder, who died in 2016, says she was born in Niterói, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, on Dec. 22, 1962, to Paul and Rosalina Devolder.
Fatima’s own Facebook page, which has photos of her with Santos and tags his page, has no mentions of the words “Jew” or “Jewish,” nor the terms Yom Kippur, Shabbat or Israel in English or Portuguese. But four of the seven pages she “liked” were for Catholic groups, and another for a Brazilian priest and singer.
A chorus of constituents and government watchdogs have called for Santos to step aside or for Congress to refuse to seat him in January since the New York Times investigation. The Times said that neither Baruch College, which Santos said he was graduated from in 2010, nor Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, where Santos said he had worked, had any record of him.
Santos, who is 34, made history in November as the first openly gay Republican to win a House seat as a non-incumbent, beating the Democrat, Robert Zimmerman, by 8 percentage points. His district, which spans much of Nassau County and some of Queens, is about 20% Jewish.