President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani has been criticised after retweeting a message describing financier George Soros as the “anti-Christ.”
“Follow the money. I think Soros is the anti-Christ! He must go! Freeze his assets & I bet the protests stop,” reads the money by a Twitter user named Dee Thompson, retweeted by Giuliani early Saturday.
The retweeted message was originally posted Friday in response to a video by Tom Fitton, president of right-wing pressure group Judicial Watch, who alleges activists opposed to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have used “intimidation and violence.”
The retweet echoes a widely criticised message by Trump, who in a tweet on Friday repeated the right-wing conspiracy theory that protesters demonstrating against Kavanaugh’s nomination are “paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad.”
The president added that they were “paid for by Soros and others.”
Trump and his supporters are no strangers to spreading conspiracy theories to discredit opponents, with Trump launching his political career by spreading the groundless “birther” conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama.
However it is the first time the president and his circle have focussed their ire on Hungarian-American financier Soros, a bogeyman for the far-right in the U.S. and Europe because of his funding for a range of liberal enterprises.
Critics responded with incredulity to Giuliani’s retweet.
Giuliani has not responded to a request for comment.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in a 2017 survey of anti-Semitic hatred online, noted Soros, who is Jewish, had become a target for conspiracy theorists who alleging he “directly uses his largess to fund false flag events.”
“Other tweets refer to his Jewish heritage in pejorative terms and claims that he’s trying to undermine Western civilization,” said the ADL.
Vox reported that National Review columnist John Fund had helped to spread rumours about anti-Kavanaugh protesters, claiming that two women who confronted Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator about his plans to approve Kavanaugh worked for the Center for Popular Democracy, which has received some funding from Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
Consrvative radio host Bill Mitchell accused Soros of “seditious conspiracy against the United States” on Friday.
“Can you imagine if we threw Soros in prison and seized his assets as an enemy of the United States tomorrow? What would the Democrats do?” he tweeted.
Soros and former New York mayor Giuliani have clashed before.
After Giuliani accused Soros of links with progressive pressure group MoveOn.Org, which in 2007 published controversial anti-Iraq war ads, Soros remarked in a WNYC interview “I would ascribe this to an Orwellian technique of transference. He transfers his own motives of vicious personal attack on me – tranfers it to me,”
“I never liked him, incidentally,” continued the financier.