This morning, President Donald Trump tweeted about the thousands of people taking to the streets to protest Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In it, he alluded to them being “paid professionals,” paid by the likes of Democratic philanthropist and investor George Soros.
The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2018
This is a common claim from conspiracy theorists on the right, and has long been deemed untrue and anti-Semitic. But that didn’t stop Trump from tweeting it, nor did it stop Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) from saying the exact same thing today, too.
It’s true that many people have taken to the streets to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination–many of them women and survivors of sexual assault, simply trying to have their voices heard by the politicians who have been rushing the nomination.
And there have also been a few counter-protesters holding pro-Kavanaugh signs nearby. Interestingly, one Twitter user claims to have seen these Kavanaugh supporters walking into the offices of the Heritage Foundation, a well-funded, Koch-brother-affiliated conservative think tank.
While @ChuckGrassley wails about paid protestors, I just spotted the folks that were camped outside his office holding “I Stand with Brett” signs walking back into the @Heritage Foundation — one of the most well-funded conservative operations out there. #CancelKanavaugh pic.twitter.com/gCzVW2Dx1Y
— Amanda Werner – The Monopoly Man (@wamandajd) October 5, 2018
Of course, we don’t know if Heritage paid these people, and partisan groups on both sides have always tried to be involved in mobilization efforts of political movements. But Heritage has been quietly been furthering its political and ideological agenda since Trump entered office. As the New York Times wrote this past summer, Heritage people have become very prominent in the White House, and have been able to become influential voices in advancing the Republican agenda.
Which is to say that while conservatives are on the lookout for Soros shills, the opposite may be true, too.