The editor of a Long Island newspaper recalled Saturday an alarming early meeting with then-Republican House candidate George Santos, whose behavior he described as “pure evil.”
The North Shore Leader newspaper is currently calling for Santos to resign or be thrown out of the House.
Something was wrong with him “from the beginning,” editor Grant Lally told MSNBC of his meeting with Santos, describing him as a “grotesque fraud.”
The candidate at the time was seeking support from the newspaper in the 2020 meeting with Lally. But the leader criticized him last year as a “fake” and a “fabulist” — and “bizarre, unprincipled and shallow” — and endorsed his Democratic rival for the House seat.
A recent editorial in what Lally describes as the “mostly Republican” newspaper boasted: “I told you so.”
“I asked him a lot of questions, a lot of direct questions, a lot of personal questions, it was not a hostile meeting at all. But he was really a freak from the start.” Lally told MSNBC host Cori Coffin about her meeting with Santos.
“He was evasive. He was also enjoying the attention he was getting, which I found very strange for a guy who was only 31 at the time, but he claimed to be a billionaire financier,” Lally said.
The Leader’s take on Santos three years ago has been backed up by press reports about Santos’s series of lies about graduating from college, graduating summa cum laude (with a made-up GPA) and working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, to name just a fraction of their lies.
Santos also claimed that the mysterious company he launched in 2021, the Devolder Organization, somehow amassed millions of dollars in less than two years.
“We feel very vindicated [by other media] because we had called it fake,” Lally said. Santos’ lie exceeded “our wildest expectations,” she added. “We didn’t think anyone would lie about going to Baruch College. We didn’t think anyone would lie about working at Goldman Sachs.”
Lally regretted that the story was not picked up by other outlets at the time. If it had been, “we wouldn’t have to deal with this sociopath in the US Congress right now,” she added.
Lally was referring to a recent story in which Santos allegedly stole $3,000 from a disabled US veteran who needed the money to operate on his service dog. Santos filed a GoFundMe appeal, raised $3,000, then allegedly took the funds and disappeared.
The “dog was not operated on and died. This is pure evil,” added Lally, who is convinced that there will be an “almost unanimous” vote to remove Santos from the Chamber.
“Nobody can support him right now. No one can stand this level of meanness,” she said.
Watch Lally’s full interview here: