Earlier this year George Santos, the fabulist congressman facing federal fraud charges, took up the cause of exiled Chinese mogul Guo Wengui, a fellow fabulist who is also facing federal fraud charges.
Guo, along with Steve Bannon, leads a group called the New Federal State of China, which claims to be dedicated to overthrowing the Chinese Communist Party. But federal prosecutors say Guo defrauded members of that group through a series of fraudulent investment schemes.
As Mother Jones has reported, Santos has echoed claims by Guo’s supporters in the Chinese diaspora that their leader is being prosecuted by the US Justice Department due to his vocal criticism of the CCP. Santos has even ludicrously implied that his own prosecution results from his embrace of Guo. Still such claims have helped Santos raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from Guo supporters.
More recently, Santos appears to have made new bogus claims related to his ties to Guo. On Saturday, New York Times journalist Grace Ashford, who last year helped break the story of Santos’ serial fibbing, reported on her recent phone calls with Santos. In one conversation, according to Ashford, Santos suggested his niece might have been kidnapped by agents of the CCP.
Here is Ashford’s summary:
“I’ll give you one story that nobody talks about,” he replied, before telling me how his 5-year-old niece disappeared from a playground in Queens, only to be located 40 minutes later on a surveillance camera with two Chinese men.
He said the incident was the subject of an active police investigation, implying heavily that it might have been in retaliation for his vocal stance against the Chinese Communist Party.
“So you think it was China?” I asked, clarifying.
“Look, I don’t want to go into like, conspiracy theory,” he said. “But you know, if the shoe fits, right?”
Guo is not explicitly mentioned there, but Santos has regularly equated his support for Guo with opposition to the CCP. Santos has little role in actual US policy toward China. His “vocal stance” against the CCP has come in House floor remarks, tweets, and even a proposed piece of legislation related to Guo.
Santos’ kidnapping story seems to be concocted. “A high-ranking police official confirmed that officers had been called and had looked into the incident, “Ashford writes. “But they found no evidence of Chinese Communist Party involvement, or of any kidnapping at all.”
“We found nothing at all to suggest it’s true,” the official told the Times. “I’d lean into, ‘he made it up.’”