President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed in a new interview that he’s “more of a Jew” than billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who is a Holocaust survivor.
“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” Giuliani, who was raised Roman Catholic, said in an interview with New York magazine published Monday. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue.”
The former New York mayor also accused Soros of being “an enemy of Israel” and called him a “horrible human being.”
Giuliani’s remarks “are contemptible - and reflect his toxic campaign of misinformation and falsehoods - aimed at distracting from the gravity of the charges facing the President,” Laura Silber, the chief communications officer for Soros’ nonprofit, Open Society Foundations, tweeted in response.
Born in Hungary, Soros, then a young teenager, and his family survived the Nazi occupation by falsifying their identity papers and concealing their faith as Jews.
Soros later emigrated to the US in the 1950s, started his own hedge fund in 1970, and has since poured billions into liberal and Democratic causes through his Open Society foundations.
Conspiracy theorists have seized on his immense wealth, patronage of liberal causes and his Jewish heritage, making him a frequent target of the far right in the US.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter that Giuliani’s attacks against Soros were anti Semitic.
“Opposing Soros isn’t what’s #antiSemitic,” Greenblatt said. “Saying that he controls ambassadors, employs FBI agents and isn’t ‘Jewish enough’ to be demonized is.”
On Tuesday, Giuliani stood by his comments, saying on Twitter that his attacks against Soros were “most certainly not anti-Semitic.”
In his interview with New York magazine, Giuliani also pushed his unfounded claim that Soros is backing former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, the career diplomat who was removed from her post in Kiev earlier this year following attacks by Giuliani. He has pushed the theory that Soros has been hiding dirt on Democrats in Ukraine and that Soros – not the Russian government as the US intelligence community has found – was responsible for intervening in the 2016 election.
“He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents,” Giuliani said, without providing evidence.
Yovanovitch denied the allegations during her private deposition in October and again during her public testimony in November.
Giuliani told The New Yorker in an interview that he needed to get Yovanovitch “out of the way” as he tried digging up dirt on Democrats on the behalf of his client, Trump.