A bomb was found in the mailbox of billionaire philanthropist George Soros — the subject of rampant conspiracy theories and threats from the conspiratorial right — on Monday.
Law enforcement officials in Bedford, New York, told the New York Times that an employee working at Soros’s home found the package in the mailbox and called police, who “proactively detonated” the device. Law enforcement later told the Associated Press that the device was “a bomb with explosive powder.” Soros was not at home at the time the bomb was discovered.
BREAKING: Law enforcement official tells AP the device found at a NY home owned by George Soros was a bomb with explosive powder.— AP Eastern US (@APEastRegion) October 23, 2018
After making a fortune running a hedge fund in the 1960s and 1970s, George Soros has donated millions to progressive causes in the United States and abroad via his Open Society Foundations.
Police have not released any information about possible suspects or motives.
Soros, though, has long been a subject of right-wing conspiracy theories — including comedian Roseanne Barr accusing him of being a Nazi (a comment retweeted by Donald Trump, Jr.). As the midterm elections approach, the rhetoric against Soros has only increased, as I noted in previous reporting:
Though a GOP donor in the 1980s and 1990s, Soros has been the right’s most feared opponent since he spent more than $25 million to defeat George W. Bush in 2004, leading one conservative website to call him “a prolocutor in the congregation of Moloch.” Disgraced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert even alleged that Soros’s fortune came from financing drug cartels overseas. Since then, Soros has spent billions on (largely progressive) causes from Ebola prevention to opposing torture and protecting LGBTQ rights abroad, and has donated to Democratic Party causes like Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
No wonder, then, that Soros has been linked by the right to virtually every liberal cause imaginable in an attempt to argue that any organic protest or outcry on the left is really the work of one sinister, shadowy (foreign) billionaire. Even Republicans have been victims of allegations of “scandalous” ties to Soros. A GOP candidate in North Carolina was the target of an attack ad alleging that he’d received “$80,000 in George Soros-backed campaign contributions” (he didn’t).
More recently, President Donald Trump has tweeted that Soros was paying protestors to confront senators over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Conservative commentators falsely accused one of the women who came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, Deborah Ramirez, of having ties to Soros.
Soros has also been blamed for the migrant caravan currently making its way through southern Mexico, with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) sharing a video of migrants receiving cash and accusing Soros of being responsible.