President Donald Trump continued to falsely claim that a migrant caravan traveling north from Central America is being funded by shadowy figures on Wednesday.
While answering questions from reporters outside the White House before departing for his latest campaign rally, Trump baselessly claimed, “I wouldn’t be surprised” when asked if he believes members of the caravan were being paid to make the dangerous journey to escape violence, natural disasters, and brutal authoritarian crackdowns.
When an unidentified reporter asked if the president was referring to George Soros, a Hungarian philanthropist routinely maligned by the far-right, Trump responded, “I don’t know who, but I wouldn’t be surprised. A lot of people say yes.”
Robert Bowers, who was charged with federal hate crimes for the murders of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend, amplified numerous baseless conservative conspiracy theories about the migrant caravan being funded and directed by Soros.
The Trump administration announced it was sending 5,000 active-duty troops to the border on Tuesday in what was widely regarded as a political stunt meant to justify the White House’s fear-mongering. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said the U.S. government does not plan to shoot at anyone in the migrant caravan “right now.”
In a last-ditch effort to quell the expected “blue wave” of backlash to Trump in next week’s midterm elections, the president and his fellow Republicans have turned to migrant conspiracy theories as a closing argument.