the talented mr. santos

George Santos Brings Rosa Parks Into His Whole Mess

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Representative George Santos may have just offered up his most fraudulent claim yet — comparing himself to civil-rights icon Rosa Parks.

In a recent appearance on a conservative podcast called Unafraid, the New York Republican, who has allegedly lied about nearly every aspect of his past, was discussing his ongoing tiff with Senator Mitt Romney, one of many Republicans calling for Santos to resign from the House. He addressed Romney’s comment from February advising Santos that he should be “sitting in the back row and staying quiet.”

Romney “tells me, a Latino gay man, that I shouldn’t sit in the front, that I should be in the back,” Santos said on the podcast. “Well guess what? Rosa Parks didn’t sit in the back, and neither am I going to sit in the back.”

Santos has been toying with comparisons between himself and civil-rights heroes for a few months now, though never this explicitly. But just so we’re all on the same page, the comparison is not an astute one. Parks was persecuted for resisting the Jim Crow–era apartheid system when she refused to leave the whites-only section of an Alabama bus. Santos is being prosecuted for seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives. He is not being targeted by the government over his identity; it’s his alleged string of campaign and unemployment fraud that has attracted the Justice Department’s attention. (Santos has pleaded not guilty and called the whole thing a “witch hunt.”)

George Santos Tries to Compare Himself to Rosa Parks