Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) floated a conspiracy theory that the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA in August was secretly funded by George Soros, who he accuses of “[turning] in his own people to the Nazis,” Vice News reported Thursday.
The exchange occurred when Gosar was discussing a recent lawsuit brought against the Arizona Republican after he blocked a constituent on Facebook for criticizing him. Vice News’ Elspeth Reeve writes “Gosar mentioned [the anti-fascist movement] antifa repeatedly” during the interview, and when pressed on the group, suggested the entire rally was an effort to shame the right.
“Maybe [the white supremacist rally] was created by the Left,” Gosar suggested when the reporter explained antifa grew as a response to the far-right gathering.
Gosar suggested reporters “look at the background” of the “Unite the Right” rally that left one counter-protestor, Heather Heyer, dead.
“You know, you know George Soros is one of those people that actually helps back these individuals,” Gosar asked. “Who is he? I think he’s from Hungary. I think he was Jewish. And I think he turned in his own people to the Nazis. Better be careful where we go with those.
Pressed whether he believes Soros funded the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Gosar replied, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out?”
The GOP representative also argued the rally was organized by someone sympathetic to former President Barack Obama.
“Let’s look at the person that actually started the rally,” Gosar explained. “It’s come to our attention that this is a person from Occupy Wall Street that was an Obama sympathizer. So, wait a minute, be careful where you start taking these people to.”
As Reeves notes, The “Unite the Right” rally organizer Jason Kessler voted for Obama and participated in an Occupy Charlottesville event, a social movement that formed in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. In the years since Kessler has expressed support for white supremacists groups and concerns white people are facing an “existential crisis,”
“White people are rapidly becoming a minority in the U.S. and Europe,” he told ProPublica in May. “If we’re not able to advocate for ourselves we may go extinct.”