Wednesday 14 November 2018

President backs baseless theory Soros is funding migrant caravan

George Soros (Sean Dempsey/PA)
George Soros (Sean Dempsey/PA)

John Wagner in Washington

Donald Trump has given his backing to an unfounded conspiracy theory that liberal philanthropist George Soros is funding a caravan of Central American migrants.

The US president was asked whether he thinks somebody is funding the migrant caravan that is slowly making its way through Mexico toward the US border.

"I wouldn't be surprised," Mr Trump replied.

Asked whether the funder could be billionaire Mr Soros, a bogeyman for the far right who is often accused of funding liberal protesters, Mr Trump said: "I don't know who, but I wouldn't be surprised. A lot of people say yes."

Mr Trump's comments came in the wake of Mr Soros being one of the targets of pipe bombs discovered last week.

They also follow the fatal shootings of 11 people last weekend at a Pittsburgh synagogue by a suspect who posted online frequently about the migrant caravan, which originated in Honduras.

In the run-up to next week's mid-term elections, Mr Trump has pointed to the caravan as a symbol of lax immigration policy and blamed Democrats for not passing legislation, despite the Republicans having control of both houses of Congress.

Mr Trump has said he considers such caravans "very dangerous", and has ordered troops to be sent to the US border with Mexico.

The theory, for which no evidence has been provided, about Mr Soros bankrolling the caravan dates to March, when an earlier wave of migrants was heading north.

Rumours circulated on right-wing Facebook groups and websites, which have also tried to claim the immigrants intend to vote illegally in the crucial mid-terms.

The claims resurfaced when the new caravan gained attention among conservatives.

Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man authorities have accused of mailing more than a dozen bombs, appeared to be obsessed with Mr Soros.

Robert D Bowers, who is charged with the Pittsburgh massacre, reposted comments online about the caravan.

One post described it as a group of "invaders". (© The Washington Post)

Irish Independent

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