Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) appeared to shift his response to photos apparently showing him in drag years ago, after saying earlier this week that reports that he performed as a drag queen were “categorically false.”
Reporters barraged Santos with questions about the photos as he arrived at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Saturday, according to CNN.
“No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys,” Santos responded. “I was young, and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life.”
Reuters published a story last week in which two former acquaintances of Santos told the news wire that the 34-year-old lawmaker participated in drag queen contests and cross-dressed in gay pride events in Brazil some 15 years ago.
Santos denied those reports in a tweet on Thursday.
“The most recent obsession from the media claiming that I am a drag Queen or ‘performed’ as a drag Queen is categorically false,” he wrote. “The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results. I will not be distracted nor fazed by this.”
On Saturday, Santos also avoided answering questions about where the $700,000 that he lent to his campaign came from and about his recent appointments to two House committees, ABC7NY.
“I have spoken with the voters. I have been in district the whole week. I have been taking calls. I have received federal grant applications for projects in the district and I look forward to serving the people,” Santos told a WABC reporter.
Santos, who defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in New York’s 3rd Congressional District in November’s midterm elections, is facing investigations from federal authorities over potential campaign finance violations and an investigation from Nassau County over lies during his campaign.
Santos’s lies range from inventing his professional résumé as a Wall Street financier, claiming to be Jewish and have grandparents who fled the Holocaust, claiming to have played volleyball for a university he did not attend, and stating that he ran a charity that saved animals.
In one of the latest accusations, two military veterans say Santos stole thousands of dollars from a fundraiser for a dying dog in 2016. He has denied those claims.