- GOP Rep. George Santos has pledged not to accept his congressional salary several different times.
- On Friday, his office told Insider he plans to donate his entire salary on a quarterly basis.
- Questions remain about the congressman's personal finances, given his history of evictions.
Over the course of two congressional campaigns, Republican Rep. George Santos of New York has repeatedly pledged to forgo the entirety of his $174,000 congressional salary.
And according to his office, he still plans to do so.
A spokeswoman for Santos's congressional office told Insider on Friday that Santos will be donating the entirety of his congressional salary, making quarterly donations to an organization "such as a soup kitchen, or animal shelter." The donation will be made during the first week of April, according to the spokeswoman.
The possible contribution to an animal shelter is notable, given one man's accusation that Santos raised money through a GoFundMe for his dying dog, only to pocket the resulting $3,000. Santos has also claimed that he established a non-profit animal rescue organization, called Friends of Pets United, but the New York Times reported that the Internal Revenue Service couldn't find any evidence the group was registered.
Santos called the accusation that he stole the $3,000 "shocking and insane" on Thursday, but did not outright deny that it had happened.
—George Santos (@Santos4Congress) January 19, 2023
Santos is set to receive his first official paycheck at the end of this month, along with every other member of the House. Insider will follow up with Santos's office in April about where the congressman donates the funds.
Questions remain about the Long Island congressman's financial situation, and whether he can now afford to forgo his official salary.
In a recent appearance on Steve Bannon's "War Room" show, he repeatedly dodged questions from fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida about where that money came from.
"I'll tell you where it didn't come from. It didn't come from China, Ukraine, or Burisma," he told Gaetz.
Nonetheless, Santos publicly offered some version of the pledge several times in the last two years.
In December of 2020, fresh off of losing his first congressional campaign to former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, he said on Twitter that he "never intended" to accept a salary as a member of Congress and indicated that his salary was "designated" to be donated to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
"I don't need to leech off the tax payer dime and I intend to keep it that way," he wrote.
—George Santos (@Santos4Congress) December 8, 2020
Santos continued to make that claim as he launched what would eventually become a successful second campaign.
"I will not accept a congressional salary at all," he wrote in a May 2021 tweet slamming Suozzi. "What I want is to serve you, the American people.
—George Santos (@Santos4Congress) May 8, 2021
"I pledge to never take a salary," he said. "Every penny will go towards the fight against Socialism."
And in a recently-uncovered Portuguese-language interview with Brazilian outlet Folha de S.Paulo that was conducted just last month, Santos said he would donate his salary to four non-government organizations (NGOs), though he declined to specify which ones.
In that same interview, he claimed to have once been robbed of his watch, briefcase, and shoes in broad daylight on New York's busy Fifth Avenue — though the outlet was not able to find a police record that matched the incident.
"And before you ask, they weren't black," he told the interviewer in Portuguese, referring to his purported assailants. "They were white, as a matter of fact."