With a tweet on Thursday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a lawmaker prone to controversy, seemingly suggested that he knows the identity of the whistleblower whose complaint has sparked the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
In his tweet, King referenced comments from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) that he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower. “@RepAdamSchiff here are four strong clues,” King wrote.
The “clues” were four photos of the same man posing with prominent Democrats. But to many of Twitter, it was instantly apparent that the man in the photos didn’t match the description of the whistleblower as a U.S. intelligence official.
It was, in fact, Alexander Soros, the 34-year-old son of George Soros, the liberal billionaire philanthropist. Neither Soros is a member of the U.S. intelligence community.
A spokesman for King did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether he was deliberating implying Alexander Soros is the whistleblower. Shortly afterward, King deleted the tweet and posted pictures of another individual.
In a statement, Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for the Open Society Foundations, an international grant-making network where Alexander Soros serves as deputy chairman, said King was “circulating false information.”
“[Alexander Soros] is not the whistleblower, and any attempt to identify the whistleblower is a violation of protections put in place to help people in government root out waste, fraud and abuse,” Silber said. “Rep. King should know better, but as a member of Congress with a long established history of white nationalism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia — whose behavior is so abhorrent House Republican leaders stripped him of his committee assignments — our expectations of his suddenly showing any principles are low.”