Oct 18, 2017

George Soros' $18B bet

George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundation, waits for the start of a meeting at EU headquarters. Photo: Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP

George Soros has invested $18 billion in Open Society Foundations, according to foundation officials, the Wall Street Journal reports. And Soros, who is one of the world's most successful investors, has done it again.

Why it matters: "Now holding the bulk of Mr. Soros's fortune, Open Society has vaulted to the top ranks of philanthropic organizations, appearing to become the second largest in the U.S. by assets after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based on 2014 figures from the National Philanthropic Trust."

  • About: "Having lived under both communism and a Nazi occupation in Hungary ... Soros hoped to foster 'open societies' in places where authoritarian governments held power."
  • Abroad: "Open Society ... operates through a network of more than 40 foundations and offices in countries from Afghanistan to South Africa. It has funded refugee relief, public-health efforts ... Open Society's activism has sometimes angered nationalist governments."
  • At home: "In the U.S., where Mr. Soros is a major contributor to liberal and Democratic causes, he is a lightning rod for conservatives. Open Society has supported efforts to overhaul immigration policies and the criminal-justice system ... It has supported activists working on issues raised by ... Black Lives Matter."

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Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Jim Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.