Trump absurdly suggests Soros is funding migrant caravan

President Donald Trump continued to falsely claim that a migrant caravan traveling north from Central America is being funded by shadowy figures on Wednesday.

While answering questions from reporters outside the White House before departing for his latest campaign rally, Trump baselessly claimed, “I wouldn’t be surprised” when asked if he believes members of the caravan were being paid to make the dangerous journey to escape violence, natural disasters, and brutal authoritarian crackdowns.

When an unidentified reporter asked if the president was referring to George Soros, a Hungarian philanthropist routinely maligned by the far-right, Trump responded, “I don’t know who, but I wouldn’t be surprised. A lot of people say yes.”

Robert Bowers, who was charged with federal hate crimes for the murders of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend, amplified numerous baseless conservative conspiracy theories about the migrant caravan being funded and directed by Soros.

After a brief pause, Trump resumed tweeting about caravan conspiracy theories on Monday, less than 48 hours after what was likely the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

Soros, a common subject of conservative conspiracy theories, was a target of last week’s spate of attempted bombings of Democrats who have been frequent focuses of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric.

Numerous prominent Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Trump, have amplified smears about Soros in recent weeks.

Conservative media like Fox News has also been pushing the types of caravan conspiracy theories that were seized upon by Bowers in social media posts.

The Trump administration announced it was sending 5,000 active-duty troops to the border on Tuesday in what was widely regarded as a political stunt meant to justify the White House’s fear-mongering. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said the U.S. government does not plan to shoot at anyone in the migrant caravan “right now.”

In a last-ditch effort to quell the expected “blue wave” of backlash to Trump in next week’s midterm elections, the president and his fellow Republicans have turned to migrant conspiracy theories as a closing argument.

 


Source: thinkprogress