George Santos told a NYT reporter his niece was kidnapped by Chinese Communists, but an official said he 'made it up'

  • Rep. George Santos said he's received threats since reports emerged that he lied about his past.

  • He told the New York Times that one threat included the kidnapping of his five-year-old niece.

  • A "high-ranking police official" told the publication the story was made up.

Rep. George Santos recently told a New York Times reporter that his 5-year-old niece was kidnapped from a Queens, New York, playground. A "high-ranking" police official, however, told the publication that the incident was likely made up.

According to a recent New York Times piece, Santos dialed up reporter Grace Ashford (who penned the initial Santos exposé) for the first time in September 2023. Several other one-on-one calls reportedly occurred between the two in the weeks after, where at one point, Santos said that he and his husband have "had to defend ourselves" after they began receiving threats post-publication.

Along with mentioning one previously reported incident where someone phoned him to say they were going to bash his head in with a bat, he alleged he's also received a different kind of threat: he said his niece was at a playground before suddenly disappearing, only to be found 40 minutes later via security footage alongside two Chinese men.

Ashford added that he heavily implied that the alleged kidnapping was due to his own prior public statements about the Chinese Communist Party but didn't have any proof to back up his claims.

"Look, I don't want to go into like, conspiracy theory," Santos told the New York Times. "But you know, if the shoe fits, right?"

A representative with the New York Police Department did not respond to Insider's request to verify Santos' claims, but the New York Times reporter said she spoke with a "high-ranking police official" who acknowledged the police were notified and investigated the incident but "found nothing at all to suggest it's true."

Santos, who's currently running for a second term, has had a tumultuous time in Congress thus far, a major cause of which has been his lack of truthfulness on the campaign trail.

In December 2022, just after his surprising victory in New York's 3rd Congressional District, the New York Times published a report detailing how the congressman-elect had lied about much of his past as he campaigned for office. These lies included prior assertions that he had worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and attended school at New York University and Baruch College when in actuality, none of it was true.

In May, a New York grand jury indicted Santos with 13 charges including money laundering and wire fraud. Months later, in October, a grand jury issued a superseding indictment against Santos, this time charging him with ten additional charges like identity theft and credit card fraud.

Santos' office declined Insider's request for comment.

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