Donald Trump supporters believe billionaire and prominent Democratic donor George Soros, 86, organized and funded protests around the country following Trump’s stunning Presidential victory. Now those Trump supporters have put Soros in their crosshairs.
Soros’ Open Society Foundations has rejected claims it has played a role in instigating civil unrest. Earlier this week, it announced that it was giving $10 million to groups that fight hate crime, citing a “national wave of hate incidents, the threat of forcible removal of undocumented immigrants, and the fear pervading communities across the country.”
Soros, the Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist, is a Jewish Holocaust survivor and has committed about $12 billion of his fortune to human rights work around the world, has long been a lightning rod for conservatives for his support of progressive causes.
“At the end of the day, it seems like he’s sending groups to create chaos and disorder for no reason,” Rochelle Winther of Los Angeles, who is circulating information about him on social media, concerned that Soros is promoting hate through protests, told USA Today. “I don’t see how that helps anybody.”
According to the newspaper’s report, members of a Reddit subgroup are devoted to jailing Soros and are planning protests against him on Saturday in front of the Manhattan offices of Soros Fund Management and the New York City and Baltimore offices of his New York-based philanthropic group, the Open Society Foundations.
“There have been many false reports about George Soros and the Open Society Foundations funding the protests that have erupted since the U.S. presidential elections. There is no truth to these reports,” Foundations President Chris Stone told USA Today. “The only initiative we are planning to fund related to the elections is to respond to hate crimes and speech.”
Soros first appeared on the Republicans’ radar as an enemy during the 2004 election season when he spent some $24 million in political contributions in an effort to defeat Republican candidate George W. Bush. He served as a counterweight to the wealthy and powerful Koch brothers, who are major contributors and hold significant influence on the Republican side.
“George Soros has spent his life and his fortune promoting justice and human rights around the world,” Soros’ spokesman Michael Vachon told USA Today. “The alt right has manufactured conspiracy theories and delusional narratives to spread their false propaganda.”