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President Trump. Photo: Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump said in a tweet on Friday that the women confronting senators in the halls of the Senate about their support of Brett Kavanaugh are "paid professionals" with "identical signs...[p]aid for by Soros and others."

Why it matters: The far-right frequently ties George Soros to moments of political discourse as a way to explain unrest, and doesn't shy away from labeling protestors "crisis actors." The fact is that in the last few years, widespread protests have become more frequent over heated political moments, and Friday's vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation is no exception.

"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"
— President Trump

The "elevator screamers:" Last week, before the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote, Sen. Jeff Flake was cornered by a sexual assault survivor, and Sen. Orrin Hatch was confronted on Thursday.

Between the lines: Billionaire George Soros, as Axios' Shane Savitsky reported last year, is "often seen as a bogeyman by conservative pundits."

  • He's been tied to events like Charlottesville and NFL protests by far-right conspiracy theorists who say he's funding movements to cause civil unrest and work against Trump.
  • Why Soros? "He's a figure often seen as a bogeyman by conservative pundits, who have latched onto both his Hungarian roots and massive success in the financial sector — such as betting against the British pound in the 1990s — to create shadowy associations with his extensive support of progressive causes and social justice. And his Jewish faith, which Gosar made the point of mentioning during his Vice interview, is frequently used as a dog whistle by the far right."
  • The trend: "Spikes in media attention for Soros tend to crop up in two scenarios — a genuine political splash by Soros or a right-wing conspiracy theory brought about by a controversial and divisive event in the United States."

Go deeper

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  4. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  5. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries.
  6. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

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