New York Republican Representative George Santos was widely mocked after he claimed that individuals associated with the Chinese Communist Party briefly kidnapped his 5-year-old niece.
In an interview with the New York Times published on Tuesday, Santos disclosed that, as an openly gay lawmaker, he has received multiple death threats. He suggested that his strong stance against the Chinese Communist Party made his young niece a target for kidnapping.
Santos recounted a story in which he asserted that his niece went missing from a Queens playground in New York City. He claimed that security footage showed her with two Chinese men just 40 minutes later.
While describing the "incident," he said:
“I’ll give you one, I’ll give you one story that nobody talks about... Look, I don’t want to go into like, conspiracy theory. But you know, if the shoe fits, right?”
Although Santos hinted at possible conspiracy theories, law enforcement officials contacted by The Times stated that they had thoroughly investigated the matter and found no evidence of a kidnapping, let alone any connection to the Chinese Communist Party.
One official said:
“We found nothing at all to suggest it’s true. I’d lean into, ‘he made it up.’”
Santos was mocked after his absurd claim went viral.
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn unveiled an updated indictment against Santos, tacking on an additional 10 federal charges, which increases the total number of charges against the Long Island Republican to 23.
The expanded charges detail that Santos allegedly engaged in identity theft, unauthorized use of donors' credit cards, and the submission of falsified campaign reports. These reports included non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or unlawfully obtained.
Santos has a court date scheduled for October 27. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Republican House members from the New York delegation pledged to move forward with a resolution to expel Santos from the House as soon as this week.