Vice President of Government Affairs for @CampbellSoupCo @johnston_kelly (a former Secretary of the US Senate under Bob Dole) spreading conspiracy theory about @GeorgeSoros' @OpenSociety planning & executing migrant caravan "including where they defecate." https://t.co/vDQvw4mUwh pic.twitter.com/NdLnpGQ9uE— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) October 23, 2018
The tweet and Johnston’s account have since been deleted. Johnston, Campbell’s vice president of government affairs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.
In an email to The Post, Campbell’s said it does not support the views Johnston expressed in the tweet. “The opinions Mr. Johnston expresses on Twitter are his individual views and do not represent the position of Campbell Soup Company,” the company said.
Soros, a liberal philanthropist, is a frequent target of the far-right and is often the subject of conspiracy theories. On Monday, an explosive device was planted in Soros’s mailbox at his New York home, authorities said. The device was safely dealt with, and the case was transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Johnston, who served as secretary of the Senate under then-Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R), has been with Campbell’s since 2002. He oversees the soupmaker’s trade associations and lobbies the U.S. government on trade and agricultural dealings.
Johnston also held several administrative positions with the Republican Party and also was a communications executive for the National Food Processors Association, according to his Bloomberg biography.
Although it was deleted, images of Johnston’s comments circulated on Twitter, prompting outrage. Many called for his firing and threatened to boycott Campbell’s products.
Until Mr. Johnston is gone from Campbell Soup Company, my family will not buy any of your products. What he tweeted is reprehensible.— Damon T. Bethea 🌊🗳️🌀 (@damonbethea1) October 23, 2018
Hey, @CampbellSoupCo, you need to fire @johnston_kelly. Seriously, regardless of whether they’re only his personal views, your continued employment of this noxious conspiracy theorist does reflect on your company - badly. No more Campbells for me and my family— Adam Frank (@adamfrank64) October 23, 2018
Other images of deleted tweets showed that Johnston’s comments were not the first he had made about the migrant caravan or Soros. In one tweet earlier this month, Johnston seemed to mock the idea of a hurricane endangering the lives of migrants.