Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is being asked by Republican senators to investigate claims that U.S. taxpayer money is being used to back left-wing billionaire George Soros’ political meddling and other efforts overseas.
A Tuesday a letter was sent asking for a probe into how U.S. funds are being used by agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support left-wing political groups in other countries.
Foreign officials and political leaders have come to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of the co-signers, with “reports of U.S. activity in their respective countries.”
“This includes reports of diplomats playing political favorites, USAID funds supporting extreme and sometimes violent political activists, and the US Government working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles. … This sort of political favoritism from our missions around the world is unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
A letter to Tillerson was signed by Sens. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., David Perdue, R-Ga., Ted Cruz, R-Texas; and Bill Cassidy, R-La.
It followed a letter, in February, from GOP lawmakers asking about whether U.S. tax dollars have been used in rather recent years to fund Soros-backed projects in the small, conservative-led country of Macedonia.
USAID funding to Soro’s Open Society Foundations in Macedonia sparked concern that the U.S. Embassy has been taking sides in the country’s sizzling political struggles.
The group’s goal is “to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens” but critics maintain it’s a front for Soros’ political maneuverings.
Between 2012 and 2016, USAID gave almost $5 million in taxpayer cash to FOSM for “The Civil Society Project,” which “aims to empower Macedonian citizens to hold government accountable,” the USAID website shows.
USAID’s website links to www.soros.org.mk, and says the project trained hundreds of young Macedonians “in youth activism and the use of new media instruments.”
Lawmakers were told by the State Department that in addition to that project, USAID has recently funded a new Civic Engagement Project which partners with four organizations, including FOSM. The cost is believed to be around $9.5 million. That’s a lot of money.
Now a citizen’s initiative called “Stop Operation Soros” has also published a white paper alleging U.S. money has been funding violent riots in the streets, as well as a Macedonian version of Saul Alinsky’s far-left handbook “Rules for Radicals.”
Being dissatisfied with responses to letters sent to the U.S. ambassador, the senators wrote to Tillerson. They noted not only the situation in Macedonia, but also what they describe as “a pattern of alarming activity in this volatile region” pointing in particular to the nearby country of Albania.
The letter said, “The destabilizing effects of such actions in a NATO country are clear and the threat for further escalation eminent as Albania anticipates parliamentary elections later this year.”
The senators also said that they are concerned about reports coming in from countries in Africa and Latin America.
The letter said, “We respectfully ask that you use your authority to investigate all funds associated with promoting democracy and governance and review the programs, accounts, and multiplicity of U.S. entities involved in such activities.”
Conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, “I think it is no secret and everyone knows about the very close relationship between the Democrats and George Soros and his foundations. It is obvious that if Hillary Clinton had won then this pressure on us would be much stronger. With Donald Trump winning we have the hope that this pressure will be decreased on us.”
Soros’ influence during the Obama administration was a 2011 email (published by WikiLeaks) in which Soros urged Hillary Clinton to take action in Albania over recent demonstrations in the capital of Tirana. It did not go un-noticed.
“Bring the full weight of the international community to bear on Prime Minister Berisha and opposition leader Edi Rama to forestall further public demonstrations and to tone down public pronouncements,” Soros asked Clinton.
It seems she complied. Appointing a senior European official as mediator was next.
It didn’t take long to get done. Within a few days, an envoy was dispatched.
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