The congressman, who has been caught in a number of lies including falsifying his resume, told the Brazilian podcast Radio Novela Apresenta on 7 December that his home was vandalized in January 2021 because he’s a Republican.
“I’m going to a New Year’s Eve party with my husband. We go back to our house, it was vandalized because we were at a Republican party in Florida in December 2020,” Mr Santos says in a clip published by The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
“So that’s it. I’ve experienced vandalism,” he adds, according to the translation. “We have already suffered an attempt on my life, an assassination attempt, a threatening letter, having to have the police, a police escort standing in front of our house.”
Mr Santos went on to claim that in the summer of 2021, he was robbed on Fifth Avenue.
“I was mugged by two men. Before asking any questions, they weren’t Black, they were even white, but they robbed me, took my briefcase, took my shoes, and my watch. And that was in broad daylight. It was 3pm I was leaving my office, going to the garage, getting my car, and I was mugged,” he says in the footage.
“They stole your shoes in the middle of Fifth Avenue?” interviewer João Batista Jr asks.
“In the middle of Fifth Avenue,” Mr Santos responds. “And that wasn’t the worst of it. Nobody did anything, nobody did anything. The fear is real. It’s surreal what we live through here.”
Mr Batista and fellow interviewer Flora Thomson-Deveaux said they asked Mr Santos for a police report on the robbery, but he didn’t respond.
Ms Thomson-DeVeaux tweeted on Friday that “in November, @joao_batistajr came to us at @radionovelo with a pitch for a story: he wanted to interview George Santos, the first Brazilian elected to the US Congress. The interview was one of the most infuriating interactions I can remember having in recent years”.
“Santos was smug, spoke in clichés and platitudes about the American dream and meritocracy, spewed unbelievable fake facts – 300 drag performances in NYC schools PER DAY, 20,000 ‘on-demand’ late-term abortions in New York State per year – and refused to engage when challenged,” she added.
The journalist said that “when we hung up, I actually let out a little scream of rage (prompting @joao_batistajr to ask concernedly if we’d actually hung up). No way we’re giving this guy a platform, I said. No way this is going on Rádio Novelo Apresenta. Well, as you may have seen, circumstances changed”.
She said it was “an interview with the man before the fall”.
Writing for Piaui, Mr Batista said that Mr Santos had “a smile playing on his lips, the sort that tends to appear when the speaker is about to say something positive about himself,” adding that he “revealed that he had decided to donate his entire salary as a congressman – $174,000 – to four NGOs, although he declined to provide their names”.
When he was challenged on his abortion claims, Mr Batista wrote that Mr Santos “asked us to go to the website for the New York State Department of Health – which we had already done during the conversation. At this point, apparently having spent his ammunition, he said that he would have come better prepared if we had let him know we were going to talk about abortion”.
The Independent has reached out to the office of Mr Santos for comment.