CLAIM: The young man pictured in photos with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the Trump impeachment inquiry.
THE FACTS: The man in the photo is Alex Soros, son of billionaire philanthropist George Soros. He is not the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint about a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky sparked impeachment proceedings. Posts with the false identification spread widely on Facebook and Twitter as public impeachment hearings began Wednesday.
Rep. Steve King of Iowa amplified the false claim Thursday, tweeting the photos with the comment: “Adam Schiff said, “I do not know the identity of the whistleblower.” @RepAdamSchiff here are four strong clues.” King’s tweet was taken down Thursday after receiving more than 1,000 likes. He did not respond to requests for comment.
The photos were taken from Alex Soros’ Instagram and Twitter accounts. Alex and his father have been the target of conservative attacks for their ties to the Democratic party and liberal causes. Alex Soros serves as deputy chairman of the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organization founded by his father.
“Rep. King is circulating false information,” the Open Society Foundations said in a statement Thursday. “He 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.”