Rep. George Santos pushes back on ‘insane’ reports he took funds for veteran’s dying dog

Navigating a swirling torrent of scandals and calls for his resignation, embattled Republican Rep. George Santos pushed again Thursday on 1 of the most damning allegations from him: that he took countless numbers of dollars intended to fund a medical procedures for a veteran’s ailing canine.

“The stories that I would allow a canine die is stunning & crazy,” the freshman lawmaker from New York tweeted Thursday early morning. “My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love & tricky do the job.”

Santos, who faces backlash from some Republicans after admitting he lied about essential facts of his past, also claimed in the tweet that he has just lately “acquired pictures of pet dogs I aided reduce throughout the several years alongside with supportive messages.”

The term “decrease” was corrected to “rescue” in a subsequent tweet Thursday afternoon. Santos’ business office did not quickly provide any of all those pictures when asked by CNBC.

“These interruptions will never halt me!” Santos’ tweet added.

The congressman’s tweet criticizes, but does not directly deny, allegations that Santos in 2016 experienced disappeared with hundreds of dollars raised in a GoFundMe to include the expenses of a surgical treatment for a veteran’s dog’s abdomen tumor.

Patch.com to start with described the allegations from Richard Osthoff. He was described as a disabled U.S. Navy veteran who was honorably discharged in 2002 and residing in New Jersey with his pitbull blend Sapphire at the time he sought the veterinary procedure.

He and an additional veteran informed Patch that Osthoff was set in touch with Anthony Devolder — 1 of a number of names Santos is claimed to have utilized in the past — who established up a GoFundMe by way of his purported pet charity, Close friends of Animals United. The New York Times noted last thirty day period that neither the Internal Revenue Service nor the lawyer general’s places of work of New York and New Jersey could come across any file of a registered charity by that title.

After the fundraiser hit its $3,000 purpose, Santos experienced allegedly directed Osthoff to acquire Sapphire to a veterinarian in Queens, who declined to operate on the pet dog. Santos then grew to become elusive, and finally explained to Osthoff he had moved the cash into his charity to use “for other pet dogs,” the veteran advised Patch.

Sapphire died in January 2017, and Osthoff explained he had to panhandle to pay for the dog’s finish-of-lifetime solutions, according to the report.

“I was so furious that I understood that this dude is now a serving congressman. He won’t are entitled to that occupation. It’s horrendous that he could lie and steal and cheat his way by way of everyday living,” Osthoff explained Wednesday in an interview with NBC News.

The Queens District Attorney’s business office declined to comment especially on Santos’ alleged mishandling of the crowdfunding campaign. A spokesperson for the workplace rather reiterated a prior assertion about Santos’ alleged conduct, declaring, “Though as a matter of class we do not comment on open up investigations, we are reviewing no matter if Queens County has jurisdiction around any potential criminal offenses.”

GoFundMe spokesperson Jalen Drummond in a assertion Wednesday stated, “When we been given a report of an issue with this fundraiser in late 2016, our rely on and protection workforce sought evidence of the delivery of funds from the organizer.”

“The organizer unsuccessful to react, which led to the fundraiser becoming removed and the email involved with that account prohibited from additional use on our system,” Drummond mentioned. “GoFundMe has a zero tolerance policy for misuse of our platform and cooperates with regulation enforcement investigations of those people accused of wrongdoing.”

Santos on Wednesday referred to as the Patch report “bogus,” telling information outlet Semafor he experienced “no clue who this is.”

Santos has been under compounding tension, which include from some of his fellow Republicans, at any time considering that last month’s bombshell report from The New York Instances named into dilemma quite a few of Santos’ claims about his training and personal lifetime.

That report established off a flurry of other damning accusations, ranging from Santos flaunting his inaccurate resume to help increase campaign funds, to Santos lying about currently being a university volleyball star.

NBC described Wednesday that Santos claimed his mom was in the Earth Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. But data exhibit she was not even in the U.S. at the time.

Santos is presently struggling with nearby and federal investigations and numerous ethics issues. He has apologized for “embellishing” his resume but claimed he dedicated no crimes.

Santos, who gained his Very long Island congressional district in November, was sworn in this thirty day period and has refused calls to give up his seat.

Republicans in New York have denounced Santos as a liar and a disgrace and have urged him to resign. But some major Republicans on Capitol Hill have not joined those people phone calls. Property Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has echoed Santos’ individual argument that voters of his district should be the ones to choose whether or not he stays in Congress.

McCarthy sales opportunities a slim, fractious Republican greater part in the Property. If Santos have been to go away office environment, it would likely trigger a competitive special election in New York for his seat.

Santos has vowed to provide out his entire two-year term.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., produced a comparable argument Thursday when asked by CNN irrespective of whether he considered Santos really should resign.

“No, I have been obvious, I imagine that is one thing involving him and his voters,” explained Donalds, a member of the Home Oversight Committee.