U.S. President Donald Trump pushed the conspiracy theory that George Soros is funding Antifa during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday.
In a wide ranging interview with "Fox & Friends," Trump and the co-hosts were discussing the recent wave of protests in the U.S. and was asked who is funding the protesters. Trump responded, "You have Democrats funding them. They say Soros and they say other people."
Trump was referring to George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who has long been a target of conspiracy theories. Soros has recently been falsely accused of orchestrating and funding the protests over police killings of Black people that have roiled the United States. Amplified by a growing number of people on the far right, including some Republican leaders, online posts about Soros have skyrocketed in recent weeks.
They have been accompanied by online ads bought by conservative groups that call on authorities to “investigate George Soros for funding domestic terrorism and his decades-long corruption.”
As some of the protests that broke out in the wake of the killing of George Floyd turned violent, many pointed their finger at the far-left group in addition to far-right groups, claiming they came to stoke more unrest.
Soros, 89, has donated billions of dollars of his personal wealth to liberal and anti-authoritarian causes around the world, making him a favored target among many on the right. The Hungarian-American, who is Jewish, has also been the subject of antisemitic attacks and conspiracy theories for decades.
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Trump also said he will probably give his Republican presidential nomination speech live from the White House, although the plans have not been confirmed yet.
"We're thinking about it. We're thinking about doing it from the White House," he said. " It's the easiest alternative. It would be by far the least expensive from the country's standpoint."
"I'll probably do mine live from the White House."
He said that plan was not firm because somebody had difficulty with it, but did not elaborate.
The coronavirus outbreak in the United States, where deaths have been averaging more than 1,000 a day in recent weeks, has thrown several wrenches into the Republican Party's plans for its nominating convention, initially set for Charlotte, North Carolina.
Trump already moved part of the convention from North Carolina to Florida because of restrictions on gathering due to the virus, but the surge in cases had led some Republicans to pull out of attending the Florida event.
Last month, Trump said he would no longer hold part of the nominating convention in Jacksonville, Florida, in August because of a spike in coronavirus cases in the state.
Reuters contributed to this report