Just days after President Donald Trump publicly mocked Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, he’s now using his Twitter account to accuse protesters of being “paid professionals.”
In a tweet Friday morning, Trump reacted to the activists and demonstrators who have taken to confronting lawmakers in public spaces about believing sexual assault survivors.
“The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad,” he wrote. “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 did not offer up any evidence to back up his claim.
While, yes, George Soros is a billionaire who often donates money to progressive causes, there has never been proof of this oft-repeated (by the right) conspiracy theory that protests against the Trump administration and its policies are filled with paid actors—and not actual concerned citizens.
Ana Maria Archila, one of the women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in an elevator released a statement to Bloomberg following Trump’s tweet.
“No one can pay for someone’s lived experiences. 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,” she said. 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 the Center for Popular Democracy where Archila works, says Soros has donated to the organization but that “in no way compelled Ana’s actions.”