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GOP rep suggests conspiracy theory about Charlottesville violence

A GOP lawmaker floated a conspiracy theory about August's fatal rally in Charlottesville, Va., in a new interview, proposing without evidence that billionaire Democratic donor George Soros could have been involved in organizing the white supremacist event.

In an interview published Thursday with Vice News, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) suggests that the neo-Nazis rallying in Charlottesville were funded by Soros.  

"Maybe [the rally] was created by the left," Gosar says, before making an allusion to Charlottesville rally organizer Jason Kessler. "Because, let's look at the person that actually started the rally. 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."

Gosar goes on to accuse Soros, who is Jewish, of turning in his own people to the Nazis during World War II when he lived in Hungary. Soros was 14 in 1945, when the war in Europe ended.

"You know George Soros is one of those people that actually helps back these individuals. 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," Gosar continues. "Better be careful where we go with those."

Asked directly whether he thinks Soros funded the neo-Nazis, Gosar replied, "Wouldn't it be interesting to find out?"

Soros's Open Society Foundation responded to Vice News in a statement, condemning Gosar for his remarks.

"[George Soros] was 14 years old when the war ended. He did not collaborate with the Nazis. He did not help round up people. He did not confiscate anybody's property. Such baseless allegations are insulting to the victims of the Holocaust, to all Jewish people, and to anyone who honors the truth. It is an affront to Mr. Soros and his family, who against the odds managed to survive one of the darkest moments in our history," a spokeswoman wrote in a statement.

Gosar is now the second House Republican to publicly state the belief that white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was organized or funded by left-wing organizers. Last month, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) blamed the violence on "left-wingers" manipulating "dumb Civil War re-enactors."

"It was a setup for these dumb Civil War re-enactors," Rohrabacher said in September. "It was left-wingers who were manipulating them in order to have this confrontation."

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