A Fox Business host has lashed Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) for using “unsubstantiated and false allegations” to bash liberal philanthropist George Soros — after he failed to challenge Gohmert on air during the attack that went out to viewers.
Gohmert spun a conspiracy theory about billionaire Soros with no evidence, claiming that the Jewish Holocaust survivor had stolen property from fellow Jews.
“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 owned,” Gohmert said Thursday on “Varney & Co.,” hosted by Stuart Varney.
Varney said nothing to challenge Gohmert during the interview, and the congressman offered no details. But an hour after the program, Varney issued a statement harshly criticizing Gohmert, NBC News reported.
“In the last hour, one of our guests, Congressman Louie Gohmert, for some reason, went out of his way to bring up George Soros and made unsubstantiated and false allegations against him,” Varney said. “I want to make clear those views are not shared by me, this program or anyone at Fox Business.”
Patrick Gaspard, president of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, sent a letter to Gohmert on Thursday demanding he apologize for the “disturbing and false anti-Semitic slur.” He called it “grotesque” that a member of Congress would accuse a Holocaust survivor of collaborating with the Nazis when Soros was a child at the time, in “fear for his life.”
It’s grotesque to have a sitting member of Congress going on @FoxNews to accuse a Holocaust survivor of nazi collaboration when that person was a 14 year old Jewish child in fear for his life during one of the lowest moments for humanity. Rep Louie Gohmert has absolutely no shame pic.twitter.com/xSHBVTUUqB— Patrick Gaspard (@patrickgaspard) December 7, 2018
Soros, who often contributes to Democratic candidates, is a frequent target of anti-Semitic attacks. He is often singled out by President Donald Trump and his supporters, including neo-Nazis. Trump recently indicated, contrary to evidence, that Soros is funding the Central American migrant caravan at the Mexican border.
Right-wing conspiracy theorists have accused Soros of having collaborated with the Nazis against Jews in his home country of Hungary — and say that he helped steal from the Jews, which is what Gohmert was apparently referring to. Soros, who was 14 when the Nazis were defeated, has called the conspiracy theory a “total fabrication” that “annoys” him “greatly.”
Gohmert stood by his comments in a statement later Thursday. He denied they were anti-Semitic and insisted his remarks were a “pro-Jewish statement on my part.”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.