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Congressman suggests Charlottesville was George Soros–backed conspiracy

For more on the legal challenge to Rep. Gosar's blocking followers on Facebook, tune into tonight's episode of VICE News Tonight on HBO. 

by Elspeth Reeve
Oct 5 2017, 2:04pm

For more on the legal challenge to Rep. Gosar’s blocking followers on Facebook, tune into tonight’s episode of VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar suggested the participants in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August may have been organized by an “Obama sympathizer” and funded by George Soros, whom Gosar accused of having “turned in his own people to the Nazis.”

Gosar made these comments — and there is no evidence backing these theories — to VICE News in an interview about one of his constituents who is suing him in federal court for blocking her on his official Facebook page. The constituent, J’aime Morgaine, argues that Gosar is violating her First Amendment right to engage in debate in a virtual public forum.

The congressman justifies blocking Morgaine and hundreds like her by pointing to the attempted assassination of Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise. Scalise, a Republican, was shot at a congressional baseball practice in June by a homeless man who belonged to left-wing Facebook groups. Hateful comments on social media, Gosar said, could lead to violence. Gosar is a Republican. Morgaine made critical comments on his page from a liberal perspective.

Gosar mentioned antifa repeatedly, and when VICE News noted that antifa is in the news because of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Gosar responded with the suggestion that the rally was a false flag operation.

VICE News: In fairness, antifa is in the news because of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville conspiracy theories about George Soros have been promoted by Alex Jones. They’re false. Soros is a billionaire investor who funds various liberal causes and is a major Democratic donor. He was born in Hungary in 1930, so he was 14 in 1944. Soros is Jewish, and his father had him pretend to be Christian to escape being killed in the Holocaust. Conspiracy theorists have manipulated this fact to falsely claim that Soros turned in thousands of fellow Jews to the Nazis.

VICE News reached out to Soros’ Open Society Foundations for comment. A spokeswoman responded:

“George Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary, and he has spent his life supporting efforts to ensure that such terrifying authoritarianism never takes root again.

Jason Kessler, who organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, has said he voted for Barack Obama, and participated in one Occupy Charlottesville event. His political commentary indicates he has believed in “white genocide”—the alt right belief that a shadowy elite are trying to replace white people by denigrating white identity and encouraging immigration—for some time.

In a now-removed YouTube video, Kessler reportedly said, “My great fear is we will become the new South Africa and there will be a white genocide.” For a fuller expression of Kessler’s views, here’s a column he wrote for VDARE, an anti-immigration website, called, “Yes, Virginia (Dare), There Is Such A Thing As White Genocide.”

That Gosar buys into the idea that Charlottesville was a false flag operation suggests he could benefit from a more open exchange of ideas on his Facebook wall.