Now Republicans Are Blaming George Soros for Campus Protests

A number of Republicans are now suggesting—or in some cases, flat-out declaring—that George Soros, often the target of right-wing conspiracy theories, is funding the pro-Palestine protests on college campuses.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), during a NewsNation interview Wednesday, speculated that the billionaire philanthropist and Holocaust survivor was behind the unrest at universities like Columbia in New York, where the city’s police department the day prior removed and arrested student protesters from a building they had broken into and occupied.

“I think the FBI needs to be all over this,” Johnson said on The Hill. “They need to look at the root causes and find out if some of this was funded by—I don’t know—George Soros or overseas entities. There’s sort of a common theme and a common strategy that seems to be pursued in many of these campuses.”

While visiting Columbia last week, Johnson said he and others noticed something that was apparently odd.

“The tents at their little encampment there—many of them matched,” he said with a skeptical tone. “They were the same color, make and model. Hmmm. Did somebody purchase that and send it in? It looks pretty orchestrated to me.”

Johnson’s suggestion came the day after Donald Trumpmade a similar claim, without naming Soros directly, on Fox News: that protesters were being paid because the former president thought their signs looked similar.

“I really think you have a lot of paid agitators, professional agitators in here too, and I see it all over. And you know, when you see signs and they’re all identical, that means they’re being paid by a source,” he told Sean Hannity.

“When you see that, that means there’s somebody at the top that’s paying or a group that’s paying.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined in on the subject with a direct shot at Soros.

“The antisemitic protests at Universities are funded by George Soros and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund,” he wrote Tuesday in a post on X, formerly Twitter, while predictably linking to his podcast.

“These groups are responsible for Jewish students being terrified to go to campus because their lives are being threatened.”

Kari Lake, the failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate who hopes to join Cruz in the Senate next year, did the same.

“It turns out these nationwide pro-Hamas protests are being funded by the Soros machine,” she wrote in a post last Friday that linked to a Fox News article.

The connection between Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the protests, according to a The Washington Post columnist, is “so tenuous as to be obviously contrived.” And criticisms of Soros, as the Anti Defamation League has noted, are sometimes based on antisemitic tropes.

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