The publisher of the small newspaper that raised red flags about George Santos' bid for a House seat appeared on MSNBC Saturday morning and recalled an alarming first meeting with the then-candidate who came seeking his paper's endorsement.
Speaking with host Cori Coffin, Grant Lally of the North Shore Leader said he agreed to sit down with Santos after having run for the seat himself years before.
As he told the host, it wasn't long into the meeting with himself and the editors that they realized something seemed off with Santos and their suspicions grew that he was lying to them.
"Three years ago, in January 2020 and he reached out to us via a woman that we both knew, and wanted to sit down and wanted our support," he recalled. "I had actually run for the seat many years before that, and he was looking for my support and so I sat down with him for about an hour and a half. I asked him a lot of questions, a lot of pointed questions, a lot of personal questions, not an unfriendly meeting at all, but he was really a weirdo right from the start."
"He was evasive, he was also just basking in the attention that he was getting, which I thought was very weird for a guy who at the time was only 31 years old, but claimed to be a multimillionaire financier," he added.
Asked about the New York Times deep dive into Santos' claims, he replied, "The New York Times did some great reporting and some great digging, and we felt very vindicated because we had called him out as a fake, we call him a fabulist, and he -- it was beyond our wildest expectations. We didn't think someone would lie about attending Baruch College. We didn't think someone would lie about working at Goldman Sachs. I knew, by the way, that he wasn't Jewish because the first time I met him, I asked him about his heritage and his background in Brazil, and I don't think he expected it, and so he actually told the truth."
"Your paper is now calling on Santos to resign or be expelled. Do you think either these outcomes could happen?" host Coffin pressed.
"Look, I think, and you reported on the story just a minute ago, that he stole $3,000 from a disabled United States veteran who needed that money for an operation on his service dog," Lally explained. "Santos put up a GoFundMe and raise $3, 000, stole the money, and then disappeared and the dog didn't get it's surgery, and the dog died."
"This is pure evil," he continued. "No one can support him at this point. Even those who have been fist-pumping him, in a tentative way, that is all going to stop, because you can't support this level of evil by everyone. So I think it will be a pretty close to a unanimous vote to expel him, and I think it's coming pretty soon."
Watch below or at the link.
MSNBC 01 21 2023 07 39 28 youtu.be