RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Republican Party of Virginia has deleted a tweet about a political donation Jewish philanthropist George Soros gave to state House Minority Leader Don Scott (D-Portsmouth) after facing criticism that it included antisemitic language.
Del. Scott received a $25,000 political donation from Soros, a Hungarian-born billionaire linked to several false conspiracy theories that have been condemned for sometimes including antisemitic tropes.
Virginia’s Republican Party posted a tweet Thursday about the donation that described Soros, an American citizen who lived through Nazi occupation in Hungary, as a “foreign ultra left-wing billionaire.”
“On November 23, @DonScott757 accepted $25,000 from foreign ultra left-wing billionaire George Soros,” the Virginia GOP’s tweet read. “What did he promise in exchange for that massive check? Soros already bought radical prosecutors in VA and now he’s trying to buy Democrat leadership in Richmond too.”
Virginia Democrats, including Scott and U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), rebuked the tweet. Scott called on the party to delete the tweet — describing it as “antisemitic filth” — which it did Friday after more than 12 hours.
But not before Luria, who is Jewish, accused Republicans of using antisemitic language in a nod to the party’s base.
“The GOP continues to use antisemitic signaling language to its base just like their leader Donald Trump. Jews who are American citizens are not foreign,” Rep. Luria tweeted. “Call it out. Reject it.”
The Republican Party of Virginia responded to Luria on Friday morning, saying Soros “is a dangerous threat” to the U.S. because of his views, “not because he is Jewish.”
“Tell us, Elaine, is it anti-Christian for a Democrat to criticize a Christian Republican over something that has nothing to do with religion? George Soros is a dangerous threat to our country because of his asinine policy views, not because he is Jewish,” the party tweeted.
Soros, a Democratic megadonor, has been at the center of attacks that use antisemitic tropes — including from some Republicans — accusing him of being a shadowy figure controlling the levers of society.
The Virginia GOP’s spokeswoman said Rich Anderson, chair of the state party, was not available for an interview Friday and did not respond to texts seeking comment from the party.
The initial tweet was still on the party’s Twitter page when 8News reached out Friday morning, but was eventually deleted. After removing the post, Del. Scott said the Republican Party of Virginia should delete its Twitter account.
“The @VA_GOP finally deleted their antisemitic tweet but given their history of racism, sexism and now antisemitism they should just delete their entire account,” Scott tweeted Friday.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin faced criticism during his 2021 gubernatorial campaign for claiming that “George Soros-backed allies” had “inserted political operatives” into Virginia school boards. Luria accused Youngkin of embracing “an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory” for his comments.