Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, boosted a conspiracy theory about the son of George Soros being the whistleblower who sparked impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
Mr. King shared several photographs from his Twitter account Thursday described as containing “strong clues” about the identity of the unnamed intelligence community whistleblower.
Each of the four photos tweeted by the congressman’s account showed Alexander Soros, the liberal mega-donor’s son, posing alongside a different Democratic politician.
The deputy chair of his father’s Open Society Foundations, the younger Soros subsequently denied being the whistleblower who triggered impeachment proceedings and condemned Mr. King for suggesting as such.
“In this case, the whistleblower has to be a government employee,” he said on social media. “It is alarming that a member of Congress decided to ignore the facts and spread more lies.”
Mr. King later deleted the tweet, albeit not before it was amplified on Twitter by Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican. Mr. King has since posted another tweet containing photographs of a different person who several outlets have alleged to be the unnamed whistleblower.
Democrats in control of the House of Representatives launched impeachment proceedings after the White House tried to block Congress from learning details of a whistleblower complaint that raised concerns about a phone call between Mr. Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart.
The president and his defenders have subsequently pushed back on the proceedings in part by demanding disclosure of the whistleblower’s identity.
“While King has since taken the post down, he is still trying to out the whistleblower, just like other Republicans in Congress and [Mr. Trump] himself,” the younger Soros said on Instagram later Thursday. “In doing so they are violating protections put in place to help people root out waste, fraud, abuse and other criminal activity.”
Spokespeople for Mr. King and Mr. Gosar did not immediately return messages requesting comment.
The older Soros, 89, has donated heavily to liberal causes and has been accordingly targeted frequently by conservative critics.
Joe diGenova, a former federal prosecutor adamantly supportive of Mr. Trump, said during an appearance on the Fox Business Network earlier this week that the philanthropist “controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department.” The president of the Open Society Foundations has since asked Fox News to ban Mr. diGenova from its programming.