Money talks? From Ferguson to unrest overseas, new reports reveal Soros influence
Newly leaked emails and other files from billionaire George Soros' web of organizations are shedding light on the liberal powerbroker's extensive influence in political and diplomatic affairs.
One email chain shows the Wall Street titan in 2011 personally wrote then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging intervention in Albania’s political unrest. Within days, an envoy he recommended was dispatched to the region.
Other emails seem to show Soros using his billions to push an anti-Israel agenda, while other documents reportedly detail funding for various grassroots organizations that were loosely linked to the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Mo.
The revelations mostly stem from a recent hack by a group called DC Leaks – which describes itself as “American hacktivists who respect and appreciate freedom of speech, human rights and government of the people.”
The files – all 2,576 of them from 2008 to 2016 – were released Saturday and provide an eye-opening look into Soros’ political operations.
In a Jan. 23, 2011 email, Soros adviser Jonas Rolett sent Richard Verma, then-assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, a letter to "Hillary" about the situation in Albania. At the time, the country was seeing an escalation of political instability and violence fueled by accusations of corruption involving the prime minister.
Soros’ email provided instructions on what the American response should be and gave Clinton the names of three possible mediators who could provide analysis of the crisis.
“I believe two things need to be done urgently: 1. Bring the full weight of the international community to bear on Prime Minister Berisha and opposition leader Edi Rama to forestall further public demonstrations and to tone down public pronouncements. 2. Appoint a senior European official as a mediator,” the letter said.
He suggested three mediators, including Miroslav Lajcak, saying “all three ... have strong connections to the Balkans.” He added, “My foundation in Tirana is monitoring the situation closely and can provide independent analysis of the crisis.”
Lajcak was ultimately dispatched by the European Union to meet with Albanian leaders in Tirana and worked toward ending the unrest there. It's unclear from the emails whether the State Department had forwarded Soros' recommendation to the E.U.
Separately, the billionaire's Soros Open Society Foundation reportedly sought to challenge what were described in documents as “Israel’s racist and anti-democratic policies” in part by “questioning Israel’s reputation as a democracy.”
The Jerusalem Post reported that the group gave $10 million since 2001 to organizations promoting Arab-Israeli rights, focusing on countering Israel's "restrictive measures."
The Washington Times, meanwhile, reported that Soros' financial help supported groups that fueled the 2014 protests in Ferguson.
According to tax filings, Soros spent $33 million to support “already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson,” the newspaper wrote.
Records also show the founder of Soros Fund Management, which boasts $29 billion in assets, has a vested interest in how the presidential elections play out this year.
So far, he’s donated more than $25 million to Clinton and other Democratic Party members this cycle -- though that number is expected to go higher as the general election in November nears.
Soros also has shelled out money for Media Matters and has been a major financial contributor to the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank founded by John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.
Soros also had a relationship with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. In 2004, the Wall Street titan lent Trump $160 million to help with the construction of Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.
In 2008, both were named in a lawsuit brought by Leslie Dick Worldwide Ltd., a real estate developer. The suit, which was later dismissed, involved the sale of the General Motors Building in New York City.
A year later, the billionaire buddies hobnobbed at a Christmas Eve party hosted by Nouriel Roubini, according to The Daily Beast.