'I feel betrayed' - George Santos donors want money questions answered

If David Zere knew then what he knows now, the TV host says he wouldn’t have invited Congressman George Santos on his show and he definitely wouldn’t have donated to his campaign.

"I feel betrayed," he said. "I kind of befriended him. I 100 percent wouldn’t have supported him."

Zere like others we’ve spoken to over the past weeks shared similar skepticism about Santos and his stories.

"I had breakfast with him in Palm Beach and he told me that he was worth $14-22 million when he was like 21 years old," he said.

Donors and those in Santos’ district demand answers about where the money he loaned his campaign came from. On Thursday, voters called on Santos to release his tax returns for the past four years to get a better look at the big picture.

"I’ve never seen, out of all the hundreds of candidates something so crazy as this," Zere said.

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Santos still says his mom was in the South Tower during the 9/11 attacks despite the documents we’ve obtained showing she wasn’t in the United States. Zere says this lie hurts the most as he lost one of his best friends that day.

"Outside of the potential criminality of what George Santos has done is the most egregious thing - people are dying from mesothelioma 20 years later," he said.

Zere says Santos also asked his family to invest with Harbor City - the Florida firm where he claimed to work. In 2021, the SEC filed suit alleging the firm defrauded investors of millions in what they called a classic Ponzi scheme.

"He asked me to go to a family member and ask them to put their retirement with him," he said. "I thought it was very unethical for a person running for public office to come to a donor and ask them to invest in his private business."

Moving forward, Zere believes both parties need to be more responsible when vetting candidates in order to prevent this from happening again.

"I just want there to be some integrity."