A Campbell Soup Company executive who tweeted about conspiracy theories involving former hedge fund manager George Soros is no longer with the company, a spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo. Campbell’s vice president of government affairs Kelly Johnston tweeted Monday that Soros’ Open Society Foundations was providing aid to a migrant caravan currently making its way to the Mexican border, a claim Open Society says is baseless.
Tweeting from an account that’s no longer active, Johnston claimed that Soros’ organization was the puppet master behind “troop carriers” and “rail cars taking [the migrants] north.” Without any apparent evidence for his claims, Johnston also tweeted that Open Society “planned and is executing this, including where they defecate.” The since-deleted tweet was shared by the New York Times’ Kenneth Vogel.
The company told CNN last week that Johnston’s remarks on Twitter did not reflect the position of the company. A spokesperson for Campbell’s told Gizmodo in a statement by email that Johnston’s last day with the company was Thursday.
“Mr. Johnston and the company discussed in August that he would transition out of his role with his departure scheduled for early November,” the spokesperson said. “In the last few days, the company and Mr. Johnston agreed that under the current circumstances it would be best to accelerate the timing of his departure.”
Responding to Johnston’s remarks in a tweet on Tuesday, Open Society said that “neither Mr. Soros nor Open Society is funding this effort,” adding that it does, however, “support the historic U.S. commitment to welcoming people fleeing oppression and violence in their homelands.”
Soros was among the individuals targeted this week in a series of attempted bombings aimed at more than a dozen prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump, including the Obamas, the Clintons, Senator Cory Booker, and CNN’s New York bureau, among others. A homemade pipe bomb was found in a mailbox at Soros’ New York home, though he was not home at the time of the incident.
Soros, a political activist and prominent donor to the Democratic party, is a frequent target of conservative groups. In addition to conspiracy theories about Soros’ philanthropy and activism, he is also the target of anti-Semitic rhetoric and has been accused of funding protests and riots. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump appeared throw fuel on the fire of the anti-Soros conspiracy onslaught by accusing the billionaire on Twitter of paying protesters.
As the Washington Post noted, Johnston’s tweets last week were not the only ones alleging a connection between Soros’ organization and the migrant caravan or other events. Screenshots taken by another Twitter user before Johnston’s account was deleted showed him characterizing Soros as a “terrorist” and claimed he funded “anti-Kavanaugh protests.”