I have written several articles on postings related to politics. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these political events.
Social media users have been sharing an image online that makes several disparaging and false claims about George Soros. Some of these claims include Soros being a former Nazi, Soros “swearing to destroy the U.S.A.”, Soros owning ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter, and Soros paying for protesters.George Soros is a billionaire philanthropist and founder of Open Society Foundations. He has been the target of multiple conspiracy theories and misinformation on social media. Open Society Foundations told Reuters via email that the claims made toward Soros in these posts are “false” and “do a disservice to the very bedrock of our democracy, as enshrined in the First Amendment.”
(1) Soros is not a former Nazi: Reuters debunked a false claim that a photograph shows a young Soros in a Nazi uniform. During the time Nazis were active, Soros would not have met the age requirements to be in the Schutzstaffel. Soros and his family were Hungarian Jews who lived in Budapest during the war, disguising their identities for safety. In 1947 at the age of 17, Soros moved to London to attend university. By the time Soros was 17, the fall of Nazi Germany had already happened. Soros could not possibly have been involved in the Nazi party which was active between 1920-1945. He is also a Hungarian Jew, further disproving this theory.
(2)Soros never swore to “destroy the USA”: Reuters found no evidence of Soros ever saying this. An older version of the quote attributes it to a Newsweek interview but there is no evidence Soros said this in their archive. One article quotes Steve Bannon comparing politics to war, saying, “They fight, look at [George] Soros and these other NGOs…they destroy you.” The article also states that, according to Bannon, Soros threatened to “destroy him personally.”
(3) George Soros does not “own” ANTIFA or Black Lives Matter: A spokesperson for Open Society Foundations told Reuters via email: “We proudly support organizations that promote civic engagement and champion the right of all Americans to petition their government for redress of grievances. Those protesting the death of Mr. Floyd and police brutality across the nation do so out of a deep and abiding concern for country; they don’t do so for pay from these foundations or any other, as some cynics claim.”
Black Lives Matter is a largely horizontal, grassroots, global organization. Its co-founders, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, and Alicia Garza started the movement in 2013, after the death of Trayvon Martin. The co-founders recently told the New Yorker that Black Lives Matter “has always been somewhat decentralized” and operates in a horizontal manner: “We have always said the power goes on in the local chapter because they know what is going on”. The organization recently set up a $12 million grant to help organizations fighting institutional racism, after an upsurge in donations amid the current protests. Beyoncé and Prince are among the celebrities who have donated to Black Lives Matter in previous years. Open Society Foundations donates to groups worldwide. Some of their previous donations – including to Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood – have been subject to controversy in the U.S. It is unclear if the foundation has donated to Black Lives Matter again in the last month. Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” is an amorphous movement whose adherents oppose people or groups they consider authoritarian or racist, often using aggressive tactics, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors extremists. Horizontal in nature and largely lacking official organization, it is unclear how Antifa is funded, if at all.
(4)Soros did not pay for protesters after Trump’s election: Following Trump’s 2016 election win, some far-right claims suggested actors including Soros funded the ‘Not My President’ protests. Open Society Foundations denied paying these protesters in any way. Soros has been mistakenly accused of sponsoring protests after Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court appointment and protests against racism in Ferguson, Missouri. Open Society Foundations recently explained in a tweet: “We do not pay protesters. Neither does our founder George Soros. Claims that we do serve to delegitimize those who are exercising their Constitutionally-protected right to protest peacefully and petition their government for redress of grievances.”
False. Conspiracy theories about George Soros visible in this post are unfounded. This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts.
They say George Soros hires protesters and rents buses to transport them. Some say he has people stash piles of bricks to be hurled into glass storefronts or at police. George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who has long been a target of conspiracy theories, is now being falsely accused of orchestrating and funding the protests over police killings of Black people that have roiled the United States. Amplified by a growing number of people on the far right, including some Republican leaders, online posts about Soros have skyrocketed in recent weeks.
They have been accompanied by online ads bought by conservative groups that call on authorities to “investigate George Soros for funding domestic terrorism and his decades-long corruption.” Soros, 89, has donated billions of dollars of his personal wealth to liberal and anti-authoritarian causes around the world, making him a favored target among many on the right. The Hungarian-American, who is Jewish, has also been the subject of anti-Semitic attacks and conspiracy theories for decades.
The new wave began as nationwide demonstrations emerged over George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Some insist Soros financed the protests, while others say he colluded with police to fake Floyd’s death last month. But all available evidence suggests the protests are what they seem: gatherings of thousands of Americans upset about police brutality and racial injustice. “I think partly it’s an attempt to distract from the real matters at hand — the pandemic, the protests or the Black Lives Matter movement,” Laura Silber, chief communications officer for Soros’ philanthropic Open Society Foundations, said of the theories. “It’s pretty demeaning to the people out there protesting when someone says they’re all paid. It’s insulting.”
A look at some of the claims:
— Soros pays protesters. No evidence has been presented to suggest demonstrators were paid by Soros or his organizations. It’s a new take on an old hoax: past versions claimed Soros paid for a long list of other events, including the 2017 Women’s March held just after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
— Soros pays to transport protesters. Last week, a photo claiming to show two buses emblazoned with the words “Soros Riot Dance Squad” got widespread attention. The photo was cited as proof of Soros’ involvement in the protests, but it was bogus. The original photo showed two unmarked buses; someone later doctored it to add the language supposedly implicating Soros.
— Soros organizes stashing piles of bricks near protests. Several false claims involving stockpiles of bricks have been debunked, and no evidence has turned up showing they were purposefully placed.
Experts who study conspiracy theories say the new claims about Soros are a way to delegitimize the protests and the actual reasons behind them. Some see anti-Semitism, or a new spin on the age-old hoax that a shadowy cabal of rich men — whether it’s the Illuminati, the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, Bill Gates or Soros — is manipulating world events.
The theories have had real-world consequences. In 2018, amid news of caravans of migrants making their way toward the U.S.-Mexico border, online misinformation about Soros was linked to violence. Cesar Sayoc, a Florida man who was obsessed with Trump, mentioned Soros dozens of times on social media before mailing pipe bombs to newsrooms, top Democrats and Soros himself.
Despite significant scrutiny, no evidence was ever found to tie the caravan to Soros. Trump, however, helped fan the flames when asked whether Soros was involved. “I wouldn’t be surprised. A lot of people say yes,” the president said. Still, some Republicans have begun pushing back on false claims of Soros’ connection to the protests and those spreading the rumors. After several Republican Party chair people in a Texas county shared posts claiming Soros was behind the demonstrations, the state party leader called on them to resign.
Experts say conspiracy theories can become a problem when they lead to threats of violence or cause people to lose trust in important institutions. They can fade into the background only to reemerge at times of crisis. “Conspiracy theories are like themselves viruses,” said Josh Introne, a Syracuse University information studies professor who researches conspiracy theories. “The characters may change a little, and the theory itself may mutate. But they stick around.” Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has been accused for years of directly funding and even orchestrating protests. This includes false claims that Soros financially supported the first national Women’s March and organized the Charlottesville, Va., protests and counter-protests in 2017. Open Society Foundations is a liberal grant-making network that is “the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.” Their network funds programs in more than 120 countries, including work in the United States that “focuses on immigration and criminal justice reform, improving democratic participation, and supporting free and independent media.” The Open Society Foundations’ official Twitter account responded to her tweet that they “oppose all violence and do not pay people to protest” and that these were “baseless allegations.”
An Open Society Foundations representative told PolitiFact that the foundation “supports the First Amendment right of all Americans to make their voices heard and petition their government for redress of grievances.” However, when it comes to rioting, “George Soros and the foundations oppose violence in any and all forms,” they said. The foundation does give grants every one or two years to U.S. organizations that work to “advance racial justice and to make police forces more accountable to the communities they serve.” They then listed a few, including the Community Resource Hub for Safety and Accountability, a website that keeps a database of resources and grassroot organizations related to policing in the United States.
PolitiFact could find no evidence that Soros or the Open Society Foundations had contributed to any organization that financed street protests in Minneapolis. Owens also claimed that the Open Society Foundations gave $33 million to the Black Lives Matter movement. The claim that George Soros funded the Ferguson protests and Black Lives Matter was checked by Snopes in 2015, and it received a mixed rating. Snopes said that Open Society Foundations has donated $33 million to organizations that have worked with Black Lives Matter or worked to raise awareness during the Ferguson-related protests. However, they had never given money to groups for the express purpose of organizing protests with the movement. The representative from Open Society Foundations said that their grants are made to organizations to help them “support communities and advance policy change.”
We didn’t find any evidence that the foundation has given money directly to the Black Lives Matter movement. The most recent connection they have with the organization is their 2018 grant of $279,860 to Release Leads, a UK organization that mostly focuses on international drug use education and policy reform, but also organizes public speaking events that feature the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK.
Owens’ tweet that Soros was “funding the chaos” in Minneapolis through Open Society Foundations is unproven. She continued to claim that the foundation had paid protesters after Open Society Foundations denied it on Twitter. There is no evidence that Soros or the foundation had given any grants to organizations that funded and organized “the chaos” in Minneapolis. We rate this claim False.
This is the second time I have checked up on George Soros, and both times I was not able to find any truth to the allegations made against Soros, about his complicity in antifa and BLM. I have included the findings from three reputable internet fact checkers, Reuters, Snopes and politifact. They were not able to find any truth to the accusations either. So as I was about to lay this matter to rest, more information came to light about Soros funding the campaigns of District Attorneys. So I am going to add the information to the addendum section, and I will let you be the judge. Newt Gingrich and Tucker Carlson brought up the subject on two different shows on the Fox news channel.
reuters.com, “Fact Chck: False claims about Gorge Soros,” By Reuters Staff; snopes.com, ” George Soros Conspiracy Theories Surge as Protests Sweep US,” By snopes editors; politifacvt.com, “Says George Soros is “funding the chaos” in Minneapolis via his Open Society Foundations. No, George Soros and his foundations do not pay people to protest.” By Emily Venezky; rt.com, “Conspiracy FACT: Soros-funded prosecutors let rioters go but declare not agreeing with Black Lives Matter to be a ‘hate crime’”By Nebojsa Malic; washingtontimes.com, “George Soros notches more leftist DAs in push to remake criminal-justice system,” By Valerie Richardson; washingtontimes, “George Soros, 89, is still on a quest to destroy America,” By Cheryl K. Chumley; snopes.com, “Is George Soros Facing Prison Over $1.8 Billion in ‘Intercepted’ Campaign Contributions?” By David Emery;
Soros and DA’s:
Democrats and the US mainstream media have insisted that tales of George Soros’ malign influence on US politics are conservative conspiracies. Americans targeted by prosecutors whose elections he financed can testify otherwise.
Take the case of two Californians who are facing ‘hate crime’ charges for painting over a Black Lives Matter mural outside the Contra Costa County courthouse during the Independence Day weekend.
Nichole Anderson and David Nelson are being prosecuted by District Attorney Diana Becton, who described BLM as “an important civil rights cause that deserves all of our attention,” (emphasis added) and insisted that “we must address the root and byproduct of systemic racism in our country.”
A former judge with no prosecutorial experience and dogged by accusations of plagiarism, Becton was elected in 2018 thanks in no small part to $275,000 poured into her campaign by Soros.
The Hungarian-born Democrat mega-donor became obscenely wealthy through currency speculation, before turning his eye towards influencing politics. In addition to funding various Democrats in state and congressional races, Soros invested heavily in local elections, where his money could make a much bigger difference.
He specifically targeted district attorneys, who in the US make all the prosecutorial decisions on a local level. In 2018, he invested more than $2.7 million in DA races in California, according to the Los Angeles Times. This was on top of the more-than $16 million he spent since 2014 on 17 district attorney races across the US, with his candidates winning 13 of them.
One of those candidates is Kim Gardner, the circuit attorney in St. Louis, Missouri since 2017. She returned the favor almost immediately, playing a key role in the prosecution of Republican Governor Eric Greitens over alleged invasion of privacy. The case eventually imploded, but not before it served its purpose in forcing Greitens to resign. Given Gardner’s history, it should not have come as a shock when she released every single person arrested during the George Floyd riots at the end of May, which claimed the life of retired police Captain David Dorn.
Nor should it be a surprise that Gardner is currently trying to find a way to press charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who defended their house with a rifle and a handgun after a crowd of ‘peaceful’ Black Lives Matter protesters demolished the gate of their community last month.
The McCloskeys have already been vilified in the media as racist, for daring to stand up for their property against the mob that threatened to kill them, and they have had to board up the house due to repeated violent demonstrations outside. To make the irony even greater, Mark is a lawyer who has represented victims of police brutality. None of it matters to Gardner, of course – the Narrative must be served.
Kim Foxx of Cook County, Illinois is another Soros-funded DA. She infamously tried to cover for actor Jussie Smollett after he staged a hate crime against himself in February 2019. Though Foxx dropped the charges, Smollett is now facing a special prosecutor.
Even in races where Soros did not get directly involved, Democrats who won embraced his policy of ‘criminal justice reform’. While it sounds lofty in theory, in practice it has mainly consisted of refusing to prosecute most offenses committed by minorities in the name of ‘racial justice’.
For years, Democrats have denounced ‘big money’ in politics. That rhetoric suddenly stopped once Soros became openly involved. Any time anyone brings this up, they denounce it as a “right-wing conspiracy theory” and even anti-Semitism – though the Israeli government begs to differ. Yet the proof of the pudding is in selective prosecutions, driven by racial grievance-mongering and intended to send a message to Americans that some people are, actually, above the law.
Back in the day, district attorneys sought to throw the book at criminals, but thanks to progressive mega-donors like George Soros, today’s prosecutors look increasingly like San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin. Mr. Boudin, a former Hugo Chavez translator and the son of Weather Underground radicals, doesn’t believe in charging offenders for any number of “quality of life” crimes, including prostitution, public urination, defecating on sidewalks, and “public camping.” His upset victory last week over Democratic establishment candidate Suzy Loftus alarmed San Francisco police officers like Sgt. Tony Montoya, who worried that the election will make the city safer for criminals and more perilous for law-abiding tourists and residents.
Also prevailing in the Nov. 5 election was Democrat Jack Stollsteimer, who edged Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland in the Philadelphia suburbs, thanks in part to a $1 million donation from Mr. Soros to his pro-Stollsteimer Pennsylvania Justice & Public Safety PAC. The playbook was similar to the one Mr. Soros used to help elect progressive prosecutors such as Kim Foxx in Chicago, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, and Rachael Rollins in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. All three endorsed Mr. Boudin.
Overwhelming the opposition with cash doesn’t always work, especially now that other candidates have been forewarned about the Soros onslaught. In May 2018, prosecutor Kevin Barton beat back a challenge from Soros-funded candidate Max Wall in Washington County, Oregon, in part because Mr. Barton was able to counter the funding surge with support from local donors like Nike’s Phil Knight, as reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting. In June, three of four Soros-backed candidates in California lost their bids to upend incumbent prosecutors who loudly denounced the effort to usher in DAs “bought and paid for by a billionaire with no ties to our community,” as Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert put it.
Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County, has been outspoken about the out-of-state interference, accusing Mr. Soros of attempting to “bypass the legislative process” with candidates who support his “political agenda and social views.” “A staple of these candidates is the promise not to enforce laws with which they disagree,” said Ms. Hanisee in a 2018 op-ed headlined, “The Ongoing Attempt to Buy the Criminal Justice System.” Mr. Soros isn’t working alone. He donated $50 million in 2014 to the ACLU to “support its nationwide campaign to end mass incarceration,” while other groups have stepped in to campaign to seat progressive district attorneys.
Case in point is Mr. Boudin, who was the race’s top fundraiser at $623,000 despite no obvious Soros fingerprints. He received a high-profile endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders, and support from the SEIU and the Real Justice PAC, co-founded by activist Shaun King and former Sanders campaign staffers. The PAC’s biggest funder is the Open Philanthropy Project’s Cari Tuna, wife of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Meanwhile, Ms. Loftus lost despite the overwhelming support of the Democratic power base in California, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom. Mr. Soros is one of the party’s biggest donors.
“Even though you may not have seen the Soros money directly attached to this, you saw people connected to Soros making the donations,” said Sgt. Montoya. “I think that the Bernie Sanders last-minute endorsement kind of energized his movement. Bernie Sanders is an influential person, and it didn’t hurt his campaign any, that’s for sure.” The police association and other law-enforcement groups put up the fiercest resistance to Mr. Boudin, whose platform included ending cash bail, prosecuting ICE agents who “break California law,” and review past convictions of immigrants facing deportation. At his victory party, San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer led the crowd in chants of “F– the POA,” as shown on video, prompting the Police Officers Association to demand an apology. Mr. Boudin did not attend.
Most district attorneys don’t have parents serving prison time for murder, but Mr. Boudin’s campaign was able to turn the candidate’s past to his advantage. In an ad, he talks about how his parents’ incarceration framed his views on criminal justice. “Growing up, I had to go through a metal detector and steel gates just to give my parents a hug,” said Mr. Boudin in the video, adding that “prison visits teach hard lessons. I learned that our criminal justice system is broken. It’s a system of mass incarceration, plagued by radical disparities.” His parents were sentenced for their roles as getaway drivers in the 1981 Brink’s robbery that resulted in the murders of two officers and a security guard. He was raised by their friends, radicals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. His mother, Kathy Boudin, was paroled in 2003, while his father, David Gilbert, remains in prison.
“This is not about, everyone goes to prison for the rest of their lives, but if we’re going to be doing any kind of reforming, let’s be thoughtful,” said Sgt. Montoya. “But this criminal-before-the-victim-type policy from a public safety standpoint is very dangerous.” Despite his mixed success in California, Mr. Soros may be unable to resist the 2020 race for Los Angeles County District Attorney. Former San Francisco DA George Gascon recently moved to Los Angeles with the goal of unseating DA Jackie Lacey in the March 2020 primary. Meanwhile, the Real Justice PAC has endorsed two Texas progressives running for DA, Jose Garza in Travis County (Austin) and Audia Jones in Harris County (Houston). The election is March 3.
George Soros is 89 years old, but by gosh, before he dies, he’s going to see to the internal destruction of America. At least that’s how it seems. How else can we listen to his words in Davos, Switzerland, track his funding of American political races and pay attention to what he says about President Donald Trump, capitalism, and the leftist causes he backs and the leftist Open Society Foundations he runs, and come to any other conclusion?
In the last few years, Soros has taken to trying to take over local law enforcement agencies by pumping massive amounts of money into candidates he favors in key district attorney races. “George Soros’ quiet overhaul of the US justice system,” Politico reported, way back in August of 2016. It continues in present day. “PAC funded by George Soros pumps nearly $1 million into local races for prosecutor,” The Washington Post reported in June, about the money from the Justice and Public Safety PAC that went to the left-leaners of both Arlington County, Virginia, and Fairfax County, Virginia, commonwealth’s attorney races.’ “Soros Adds Intrigue and $800,000 to D.A. Race, Backing Progressive,” The New York Times reported in November. The district attorney’s office is one of the first local lines of defense of the Constitution and the rule of law. That means the potential for immediate progressive impact is huge — and it’s an impact that can be had without all that costly political fighting over, say, a senator’s seat, or a Supreme Court slot.
Buying D.A. seats gives you good bang for the buck, in other words. And oftentimes, quietly, unbeknownst to those who might oppose. That doesn’t mean Soros isn’t busily buying into congressional races, too. or the media. Or — and this, particularly in recent months — the grassroots.
So I am going to wrap up this addendum section with a snopes rebuttal on the DA campaign funding claims. It is only fair that I do so. Though I am beginning to wonder about some of these fact checking sites. It is evident that the actions of District Attorneys across the is suspect. There is no denying that there is a reticence among DA’s to prosecute rioters in this country.
Billionaire political activist George Soros has long been the target of inaccurate and misleading reporting by hyperpartisan right-wing web sites.
During the summer of 2018, a number of those sites posted identically-worded articles with headlines asserting that Soros could “officially go to prison for years” as a result of $1.8 billion of his money being “intercepted” by unnamed entities (presumably law enforcement agencies). For example, the following excerpt was taken from a 4 July 2018 blog post on viralitythings.us:
BREAKING: $1.8 BIL Of Soros’ Money Just Intercepted — He Could Officially Go To Prison For Years
George Soros is at it again throwing his money around and trying to manipulate political races. This time he’s trying to reshape the nation’s criminal justice system.
Soros thinks he can do this by dumping $1.8 billion into four of the 56 district attorney positions in California up for grabs June 5th. This is the same kind of tactic he used to grab control of attorney generals in varying states.
Soros isn’t the only one either. Wealthy progressive liberal donors are also pouring millions of dollars into these races.
Liberal groups are offering their support to would-be prosecutors who favor lower incarceration rates, crackdowns on police misconduct and changes in a bail system that they argue discriminates against the poor, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“These people who want to create their own social policy are not worthy of the office,” former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley told the newspaper. “If they win in San Diego or Sacramento, L.A. is next.
You mean the city where the Mexican mafia runs the prisons? That city? Soros headlines a consortium of private funders, the American Civil Liberties Union and other social justice groups and Democratic activists who are willing to put their money where their Marxism is.
Notwithstanding its headline, nowhere in the body of the post did it actually state that Soros’s money was “intercepted,” much less detail when, where, why, or by whom. Nor did it state that Soros was faceing prison time for contributing to election campaigns.
Moreover, neither of those allegations could be found in the 23 May 2018 Los Angeles Times story the blog post cited as the main source of its claims. The Times‘ coverage focused on the unprecedented amount of money flowing from wealthy liberal donors into local, nonpartisan district attorney election campaigns around the country. Soros wasn’t the only contributor of such funding (but he was the largest). Although the article raised questions about the wisdom and propriety of injecting partisan cash into these elections, it imputed no illegality to Soros’s actions.
Besides fabricating claims about Soros’ going to jail, the blog post distorted the total dollar amount the billionaire contributed to district attorney campaigns: $18.97 million as of May 2018 (according to the Times), not $1.8 billion as claimed. We have not found the higher figure cited in any legitimate news reports.
In short, the author of the widely aggregated blog post fudged the facts and added fabricated claims to transform legitimate reporting on George Soros’s localized campaign contributions into a political smear. Who was that author? Although the majority of reproductions of the post included no byline, we did find one listed on what appears to be the original post, which was published on a web site called Right Wing News on 25 May 2018. It was authored by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, whose byline appears on many other articles on that site as well as on other far-right web publications.
We note, however, that two major revisions were made after Monroe-Hamilton’s post was originally published. First, the headline was changed from “BREAKING: $1.8 BIL Of Soros’ Money Just Intercepted – He Could Officially Go To Prison For Years” to “OPINION: $1.8 Million Of Soros’ Money Just Intercepted – He Should Officially Go To Prison For Years.” Second, the sentence “Soros thinks he can do this by dumping $1.8 billion into four of the 56 district attorney positions in California…” was changed to “Soros thinks he can do this by dumping $1.5 Million into four of the 56 district attorney positions in California …”
Governmental and Political Posts Both National and International