GOP lawmaker spars with CNN reporter over Charlottesville conspiracy theories
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday doubled down on his conspiracy theory that Democratic mega-donor George Soros could have been involved in organizing an August white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., saying “proof will be coming.”
“My proof will be coming; check my website out,” the Republican lawmaker told CNN reporter Randi Kaye.
“It has not been debunked, absolutely not debunked whatsoever. So stay tuned,” he added, when asked why he is pushing a baseless conspiracy theory with no evidence to support it.
Gosar goes on to tell the reporter that CNN is “fake news.”
When initially asked about his claims, Gosar said he only suggested “it would be interesting” to find out that the left was behind the August “Unite the Right” event.
“I think you better go back and recheck that. I said ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to find that,’ ” he told Kaye.
Kaye reported that Gosar posted a “60 Minutes” interview with Soros on his site Wednesday night, in which the mega-donor denies that he took property from Jews during World War II.
The Arizona lawmaker also posted a radio broadcast from a “far right Arizona radio host who pushes these theories,” according to the reporter.
“Maybe [the rally] was created by the left,” Gosar said, pointing to Charlottesville rally organizer Jason Kessler, who once was “an Obama sympathizer.”
Gosar goes on to allege that Soros, who is Jewish, turned on his own people during World War II when he lived in Hungary by helping the Nazis.
“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.”
Gosar, however, would not directly say whether he believes Soros funded neo-Nazis, saying: “Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out?”
Soros, who was 14 when the war in Europe ended in 1945, strongly denies Gosar’s claims.
“He did not collaborate with the Nazis. … 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,” a spokeswoman for Soros’s Open Society Foundations told Vice News in a statement responding to Gosar’s remarks.