The “George Soros-is-behind-the-anti-Kavanaugh-protests” theory seems to be gaining steam rather than dying out.
On Saturday, Rudy Giuliani — former New York City mayor and current lawyer for President Donald Trump — retweeted a tweet calling George Soros the “anti-Christ.” The original tweet also suggested that Soros’ assets should be frozen.
Then on Sunday, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Asra Q. Nomani titled “George Soros’s March on Washington” arguing that “while most demonstrators are not paid for their efforts, the [anti-Kavanaugh] protests at the Capitol Saturday, and the ones that have included stalking lawmakers inside and outside their offices, are organized by groups of which Mr. Soros is an important patron.”
This all of course follows Trump’s inflammatory tweet from Friday insinuating that Soros helped pay for the fierce protests in D.C. against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court on Saturday. Trump also called the protesters “#Troublemakers.” (On Saturday, after the vote to confirm Kavanaugh passed the full Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dubbed them a “mob.”)
This latest round of anti-Soros rhetoric can be traced to an interview that Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee handling the Kavanaugh nomination, gave to Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business Network earlier Friday morning.
“Do you believe George Soros is behind all of this, paying these people to get you and your colleagues in elevators or wherever they can get in your face?” Bartiromo asked the Iowa Republican.
“I have heard so many people believe that,” Grassley responded. “I tend to believe it. I believe it fits in his attack mode and how he uses his billions and billions of resources. I think it promotes incivility in American society.”
Soros, an 88-year-old Jewish billionaire, Holocaust survivor and one of the biggest liberal donors in the country, has been the right’s favorite bogeyman in recent years in his native Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pegged Soros and his Open Society Foundations as symbols of intruding globalist forces. Orban’s unabashed anti-Soros message and anti-democratic goals have been widely criticized by the European Union, Human Rights Watch and others.
Trump has singled out Soros before, too. During his presidential campaign in 2016, the Republican nominee ran an ad that criticized “those who control the levers of power in Washington” and “global special interests.” Over those words were images of Soros and the then-Federal Reserve chief, Janet Yellen, who also is Jewish.
Some found Giuliani’s retweet problematic.
Jason Stanley tweeted, “Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories from Hungary have now arrived full force on our shores in the United States, appearing in the Wall Street Journal of all places. We are now Eastern Europe.”
In her article, Nomani links to a spreadsheet she compiled of liberal groups’ funding sources. Of these “resistance” groups, she wrote, at least 50 have received grants from Soros organizations.
Nomani is a co-director of the Pearl Project, which is investigating the murder of her former Wall Street Journal colleague Daniel Pearl, the Jewish reporter kidnapped and beheaded during a reporting stint in Karachi, Pakistan.