Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) accused billionaires George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer of being “left-wing radicals” who have “bought control of Congress for the Democrats.”
Soros and Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York, are Jewish. Steyer’s father is Jewish, and his mother is Episcopalian.
Steyer is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.
Emmer, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which funds and supports Republican incumbents and first-time congressional candidates, stated the anti-Semitic trope in an NRCC letter that apparently circulated in March, but was first reported on Thursday by the Minneapolis-based American Jewish World.
The letter stated that “the news of impactful, real progress on turning our nation around was undercut by biased media and hundreds of millions of dollars of anti-Republican propaganda put out by liberal special interests, funded by deep-pocketed far-left billionaires George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg.”
It continued: “These left-wing radicals essentially BOUGHT control of Congress for the Democrats.”
Defending the letter, NRCC spokesman Chris Pack emailed the outlet that there is “nothing anti-Semitic about drawing attention to billionaire donors and who they are giving money to.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) alluded to a similar fiscal situation back in February when she claimed, “It’s all about the Benjamins.” She accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of paying members of Congress to support the Jewish state.
Emmer’s congressional office, congressional leadership and the Republican Jewish Coalition did not respond to a request for comment.
The Jewish Democratic Council of America condemned Emmer’s letter, and called on him and the NRCC to retract and apologize for it.
“This is classic anti-Semitism, and includes an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and negative stereotypes that have been historically used to foment hatred towards Jews,” said JDCA executive director Halie Soifer. “It’s vile and dangerous, and we reject it in the strongest possible terms.”
“It’s not enough for Republicans to feign concern about anti-Semitism when it’s politically expedient,” she added. “There must be a zero-tolerance policy for hate, regardless of political affiliation. We call on Republicans to immediately condemn Rep. Emmer’s anti-Semitic remarks.”