George Santos claims paedophile Jeffrey Epstein is ‘still alive’ in resurfaced 2020 interview

Add George Santos to the list of members who find themselves part of Congress’s growing conspiracy caucus.

In a 2020 interview resurfaced this week by Insider, the House’s most controversial new member insists that paedophile and convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was murdered in prison — only to minutes later suggest that actually, the shadowy financier may in fact be alive and well.

The interview was with right-wing podcast The Rory Sauter Show, which Mr Santos appeared on in August of 2020. It came as part of his first congressional run, which would end in failure months later.

“The whole story is just so skewed,” he went on to say. “He didn’t hang himself, he was murdered.”

Minutes later, he would change that story:

“I wouldn’t put it past me that he’s still walking around us and we’re all like, ‘Oh my god, the guy is alive,’ and we can’t know what, it’s 2020, anything can happen.”

Epstein died in a federal prison in New York in 2019. His death was ruled a suicide, but given a number of strange occurrences surrounding the incident, that explanation has been widely questioned. At the time, he was awaiting trial related to operation of a possible underage sex trafficking ring; further adding to the conspiratorial aura surrounding his death was Epstein’s famous connections to powerful and high-profile Americans including both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

Somewhat bizarrely, he even claimed to have met Epstein through his work in the financial field — much of which is now the subject of debate given that he has admitted to lying about some aspects of his career while others have raised serious legal questions from journalists and financial experts.

“I’ve never dealt with him personally, but I’ve met him, I’ve seen him,” Mr Santos said in the interview.

But the podcast was clearly a sign of things to come, as Mr Santos would go on that year to insist without proof that Democrats had stolen his election while also embracing Donald Trump’s lies and false statements about the 2020 election and his own defeat to Joe Biden. He would later even participate in at least one “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington DC.

Mr Santos now faces calls for his ouster or resignation from his colleagues on both sides of the aisle after copping to a long list of falsehoods and lies about his background. Some of those lies bordered on offensive, such as his suggestion that his grandparents fled the Holocaust.

He has vowed to remain in office even as he faces state and federal investigations, and has lost the support of his home county’s local Republican Party organisation.