(The Hill) — Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) said that claims that he stole money from a GoFundMe for a veteran’s dying dog were “shocking” and “insane,” denying the news that surfaced on Tuesday.
Two veterans accused Santos of helping raise and then running off with thousands of dollars in 2016 for a dog who needed cancer treatments and belonged to one of the veterans, who was homeless at the time, according to the story from Patch.com.
“The reports that I would let a dog die is shocking & insane,” Santos tweeted on Thursday. “My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love & hard work.”
The dog, Sapphire, died in 2017. The veterans’ account of their interactions with Santos in the Patch story included alleged text messages with the freshman lawmaker, who was going by Anthony Devolder, an alias he used. They said Santos made off with around $3,000.
Santos claimed to have founded Friends of Pets United as a charity, but reporting from the New York Times in December found that the organization was not a registered nonprofit. But Santos said on Twitter that he had received messages about pets that he had helped “reduce” over the years.
“Over the past 24hr I have received pictures of dogs I helped reduce throughout the years along with supportive messages,” Santos said in the tweet.
Santos also denied reports on Thursday that he performed in a drag queen beauty pageant in Brazil.
Santos has admitted to fabricating his resume and past experiences. He has come under fierce pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, with some Republicans urging him to resign. He was seated on two House committees this week.