Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, made some potentially controversial remarks recently, Business Insider reports. During an interview with New York Magazine published Monday, Giuliani suggested he was “more of a Jew” than billionaire philanthropist George Soros — a reported Holocaust survivor.
“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” Giuliani said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is.”
Giuliani’s comment is reportedly controversial. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), called out the 75-year-old attorney’s comment and suggested that it could be a dog whistle to anti-Semites and possibly fuel existing conspiracy theories on the far right that paint Soros as a villain.
“For decades, George Soros’ philanthropy has been used as fodder for outsized anti-Semitic conspiracy theories insisting there exists Jewish control and manipulation of countries and global events,” Greenblatt said in an interview with The Daily Beast.
“Mr. Giuliani should apologize and retract his comments immediately, unless he seeks to dog whistle to hardcore anti-Semites and white supremacists who believe this garbage.”
Soros is often painted as a sort of mastermind that wields his wealth and political influence to control the world secretly. He is known for funding many progressive political and social causes, which ADL claims has made him a “lightning rod” for people on the right of the political spectrum that do not agree with the causes he backs. According to the religious organization, many of the conspiracy theories around Soros hinge on “longstanding anti-Semitic myths,” including the myth that wealthy, influential Jews “work behind the scenes” and scheme to “control countries and manipulate global events.”
Per CNN, Soros was born in Hungary, and his family reportedly survived the Nazi occupation by forging identity papers and hiding their faith. The Open Society Foundations founder ultimately moved to the United States in the 1950s and has since invested billions into liberal and Democratic causes via his grant-making network.
In addition to purportedly attacking Soros’ faith, Giuliani used his New York Magazine interview to reportedly claim that the philanthropist is funding former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was fired by Trump in May after reported attacks from Giuliani.
Yovanovitch also testified as part of the impeachment probe into the president. During the hearing, Trump blasted her on Twitter in real-time and questioned her career and credentials. The reported attack was criticized by many, including Harvard Law School professor John Coates, who said Trump’s attack was an impeachable offense.