conspiracy theories

Trump Thinks Sexual-Assault Protesters Are ‘Paid Professionals’

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Just over an hour before the full Senate’s procedural vote on whether to confirm SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump floated some of his favorite conspiracy theories about the people protesting the embattled nominee: that they are “paid professionals,” funded by liberal billionaire George Soros.

The unfounded accusation, which Trump made on Twitter, was presumably in reference to the two brave sexual-assault survivors who confronted Senator Jeff Flake in the elevator over his Kavanaugh vote last week — and whose impassioned cries pressured Flake to call for the FBI investigation. Clearly, this displeased Trump, compelling him to echo Republican senator David Perdue’s allegation that Kavanaugh protesters are “paid activists.”

“The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make senators look bad,” Trump said of protesters Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher. “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

The Soros accusation — which Perdue also made, and is another favorite conspiracy theory of the right — undoubtedly refers to Archila’s work with the progressive group Center for Popular Democracy, to which the billionaire has donated. (Archila is the group’s co-executive director.) In a statement obtained by Bloomberg, Archila vehemently denied Trump’s allegation, saying that “no one can pay for someone’s lived experiences.”

She continued: “The pain, the trauma, and the rage that I expressed when I spoke with Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator were my own, and I held it for more than 30 years to protect the people I love from it … [Trump is] trying to ignore the experiences of people in this country by discrediting individuals who dare to raise our voices and force elected officials to listen to our stories, to look us in the eye, to not turn away.”

Lia Weintraub, a spokesperson for CPD, also condemned Trump’s tweet, stating that that though Soros has donated to Center for Popular Democracy, his funding “in no way compelled Ana’s actions.”

Soros is a rich person who donates money to nonprofits with passionate activists who participate in direct action. What a phenomenon.

Trump: Sexual-Assault Protesters Are ‘Paid Professionals’