Santos’ claim about his mother and 9/11 comes under scrutiny amid his other lies


As Representative-elect George Santos continues to come under scrutiny for false claims the New York Republican has made about his biography, another story is being called into question: that his mother was at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and that the incident played a part in his death.

In particular, two tweets sent from Santos’ account in 2021 and first reported by journalist Yashar Ali on Wednesday raise questions about the veracity of the story.

In a tweet from July 2021, Santos said, “9/11 cost my mother her life. But months later, he reflected on the fifth anniversary of his mother’s death in 2016.

Santos’ campaign website also references the story, but says his mother survived the attacks and died « a few years later » from cancer.

“George’s mother was in her South Tower office on September 11, 2001 when the horrific events of that day unfolded. She survived the tragic events of 9/11, but died a few years later when she lost her battle with cancer,” the website states.

In a Dec. 17, 2021, radio interview on « The Voice of Reason with Andy Hooser, » Santos said his mother was « caught in the ash cloud » on 9/11 and didn’t sign up to get financial assistance because she did not want to take money away from first responders.

“She was in the south tower and she got away with it. She was caught in the ash cloud. My mother fought cancer until she died,” Santos said.

« She never asked for help because her motto was, ‘I can afford it. We are lucky. We can take care of all our, our medical bills. If I take it, I take it from those men and women who need it and put their lives on the line,” Santos added.

It is unclear whether Santos’ mother, Fatima ACH Devolder, was present at the World Trade Center on 9/11, as he claims. An obituary posted online says she died on December 23, 2016, more than 15 years after 9/11, at Elmhurst Hospital Hospice in New York.

Many first responders and 9/11 survivors developed health problems after inhaling contaminated air from the collapsed Twin Towers.

Santos previously claimed his mother was a financial executive, although that description has since been removed from his website. NBC News, citing public records, reported his only employment history was with a Queens-based import company that went bankrupt in 1994.

CNN has reached out to Santos’ representatives for comment.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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