George Soros Denies Knowing or Donating to Alvin Bragg
Trump has been indicted, and the GOP reaction to criminal charges against the former president has come with a hefty side of antisemitic conspiracy-mongering.
Virtually everyone in right-wing politics — from lawmakers, to political pundits, to the former president himself — has accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of being a George Soros-funded puppet prosecutor. The connection is pretty weak.
On Friday, Soros gave a rare rebuke of attempts to link him to progressive prosecutors, stating that he neither knew Bragg nor donated to his election campaign. “As a matter of fact I did not contribute to his campaign and I don’t know him,” he told Semafor, “I think some on the right would rather focus on far-fetched conspiracy theories than on the serious charges against the former president.”
Soros, a Jewish-Hungarian billionaire, is a prolific donor to progressive causes. His wealth and religious affiliation have made him a target of antisemitic conspiracies which cast him as the shadowy boogeyman behind all manner of social and political change. The rights sees the name “Soros” as a euphemism for globalist political manipulation, and one need not have interacted with Soros to be accused of being under his thumb.
The ties between Soros and Bragg are based on little more than a donation the billionaire made to Color of Change, an organization that supports candidates for prosecutorial office. According to a report from The New York Times, Color of Change, which endorsed Bragg in 2021, never directly donated funds to Bragg but did spend on turnout efforts on his behalf. Soros gave Color of Change $1 million after the group endorsed Bragg, and the group reportedly intended to help Bragg with the money. Color of Change ultimately spent around $500,000 supporting Bragg, who was one of several candidates endorsed by the group in the 2022 election cycle. Soros had given to the group multiple times before it endorsed Bragg.
Despite Soros and Bragg having never directly interacted, the jerry-built connection has been trotted out as evidence of malicious intent by Bragg. In a rage-filled statement responding to the indictment, Trump wrote that Bragg had been “hand-picked and funded by George Soros.” Earlier this week, the former president called the Manhattan DA a “Soros-backed animal.”
Several Republican lawmakers, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have described Bragg as “Soros-backed” in their defenses of Trump.
A study of Fox News transcript data by Media Matters for America found that in the six and a half hours immediately after news of the indictment broke, the network mentioned Soros in connection to Bragg at least 21 times. Anchors on the network directly accused Bragg of acting on behalf of Soros, and host Rachel Campos Duffy said the incitement was the manner in which Bragg would “pay his master back.”
The attacks against Soros and Bragg from the right are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. As previously reported by Rolling Stone, Trump is already brainstorming ways to exact his revenge on the Manhattan prosecutor, and dragging Soros into the fray is just one facet of a widespread effort to discredit the effort to bring the former president to justice.