The Campbell Soup Co. is distancing itself from incendiary comments made by one of its executives, former Senate secretary Kelly Johnston, on Twitter Tuesday about the large group of migrants making its way toward the Mexican border.
In the tweet, Johnston suggested that George Soros’s Open Society Foundations had orchestrated the migration of thousands of people and was even controlling “where they defecate.” Johnston accused the group of having “an army of American immigration lawyers waiting at the border.”
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.
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.