Republican congressman falsely claims George Soros 'assisted the Nazis' in Fox interview

Louie Gohmert accused of having ‘no shame’ over conspiracy theory

Adam Forrest
Friday 07 December 2018 14:32
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Texas Republican congressman Louise Gohmert claimed George Soros helped the Nazis

Republican congressman Louie Gohmert has been condemned for falsely claiming philanthropist George Soros “helped take the property” of fellow Jews during World War II.

Mr Soros’ Open Society Foundations organisation called on the Texas politician to apologise and accused him of making a “disturbing and false antisemitic slur".

Mr Gohmert’s remarks came during a Fox Business interview in which he was asked about Google’s plans in China, but went off on a tangent about Mr Soros instead.

“George Soros is supposed to be Jewish, but you wouldn’t know it from the damage he’s inflicted on Israel, and the fact that he turned on fellow Jews and helped take the property that they owned,” he stated.

The idea the Hungarian-born billionaire helped the Nazis confiscate property from Jewish people during the war is a discredited conspiracy theory that has been circulating online since 2016.

Mr Gohmert has previously made attacks on Mr Soros and has claimed it is not antisemitic to criticise his influence.

Later on Thursday he attempted to clarify his remarks as “pro-Jewish” rather than antisemitic.

Fox Business host Stuart Varney later criticised the Republican’s diatribe – although he did not challenge the congressman on air.

“Congressman Louie Gohmert for some reason went out of his way to bring up George Soros and made unsubstantiated and false allegations against him,” said Mr Varney.

“I want to make clear those views are not shared by me, this program or anyone at Fox Business.”

Patrick Gaspard, president of Open Society Foundations, strongly rejected the conspiracy theory in a letter to Mr Gohmert, which he shared with the media. He said the Texas congressman had “absolutely no shame”.

“Just to reiterate the facts: George Soros escaped the Nazis as a 14-year-old boy, and he has spent most of his life supporting efforts to ensure that such terrifying authoritarianism never takes root again,” Mr Gaspard stated.

“He did not collaborate with the Nazis. He did not help round up people. He did not confiscate anybody’s property.”

Earlier this week, a university founded by Mr Soros said it had been forced out of Hungary after it failed to get guarantees of academic freedom from the nationalist government of prime minister Viktor Orban.

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