GOP lawmaker accuses Soros of turning against Jews and helping take their property

Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertGOP lawmaker accuses Soros of turning against Jews and helping take their property Soros rep: Fox News refuses to have me on House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations MORE (R-Texas) drew criticism on Thursday after he accused Democratic mega-donor George Soros of turning against "fellow Jews" and helping take their property. 

Gohmert promoted the conspiracy theory on Fox Business Network Thursday morning, during an interview about Google's reported involvement in creating a search engine for China. 

"Google is born in a free country and then they go over and oppress others, help oppress in another country," Gohmert said.

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"You mention [George] Orwell," he added, pivoting away from the topic. "That reminds me of another George. George Soros is supposed to be Jewish, but you wouldn’t know it from the damage he’s inflicted on Israel and the fact that he turned on fellow Jews and helped take the property that they own."

Gohmert has promoted this accusation before. It is an apparent reference to a conspiracy theory about Soros that fact-checking website Snopes has deemed "false." The theory claims Soros collaborated with Nazis during World War II, though he was only 14 years old by the time the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944. 

"Abhorrent that a sitting Congressman propagated debunked Soros conspiracies," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tweeted shortly after. "Rep. Gohmert should retract his remarks immediately. This rhetoric is common in extreme far-right circles & perpetuates anti-Semitism." 

They linked to an ADL website page debunking the many falsehoods surrounding Soros, who often plays a central role in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that portray him as a greedy and powerful Jewish person. 

Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney later in the morning distanced the network from Gohmert's comments, saying, "Congressman Louie Gohmert for some reason went out of his way to bring up George Soros and made unsubstantiated and false allegations against him." 

"I want to make clear those views are not shared by me, this program or anyone at Fox Business," Varney continued.

Fox Business in late October dropped another guest who blamed the latest migrant caravan on the “Soros-occupied State Department.”

Soros was one of more than a dozen high-profile Democrats targeted with mailed pipe bombs in October. 

Gohmert later in the day released a statement defending his comments, claiming that "Soros himself admitted ... that he had no regrets whatsoever about assisting the Nazis in confiscating property from the Jewish people during the Holocaust."

Gohmert linked to a 1998 interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" in which Soros discussed his experiences escaping the Holocaust as a 14-year-old. During the interview, Soros said he "participated" as Jewish property was being confiscated at the time, then clarified that he was a "bystander" to the destruction. 
 
Soros has since said he was originally misunderstood the question.