Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, claimed in an interview that he is "more of a Jew" than Hungarian-born philanthropist George Soros, who survived the Holocaust.
The comment came amid an interview with New York Magazine in which Giuliani reportedly claimed, without evidence, that former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was "controlled" by Soros. He went on to call Soros, a Jewish billionaire and influential Democratic donor, an "enemy of Israel."
"He put all four ambassadors there. And he's employing the FBI agents," Giuliani said, before continuing the conspiracy-theory-laden diatribe.
"Don't tell me I'm anti-Semitic if I oppose him. Soros is hardly a Jew. I'm more of a Jew than Soros is," said Giuliani, who is Roman Catholic. "I probably know more about - he doesn't go to church, he doesn't go to religion - synagogue. He doesn't belong to a synagogue, he doesn't support Israel, he's an enemy of Israel. He's elected eight anarchist DA's in the United States."
"He's a horrible human being," Giuliani concluded.
Soros, 89, has long been featured in conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the world and media. One 2018 theory asserted that Soros paid thousands of Central American migrants to travel toward the United States last year in what became known as the "migrant caravan." That claim, for which there is no evidence, was echoed by Trump.
In September, Giuliani appeared on ABC News's "This Week" and implicated Soros in a debunked conspiracy theory that suggests Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. He asserted without proof that "Soros was behind it."
"November of 2016, [the Ukrainians] first came to me, and they said, 'We have shocking evidence that the collusion that they claim happened in Russia, which didn't happen, happened in Ukraine, and it happened with Hillary Clinton," he said. "George Soros was behind it. George Soros's company was funding it."
Asked by NBC News whether his comments about being more Jewish than Soros were a joke, Giuliani said: "I'm more Jewish than half my friends."
In an interview with NBC News this month, Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for Soros' network, the Open Society Foundations, decried the conspiracy theories about Soros peddled by Giuliani.
"The anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and false allegations espoused by Rudolph Giuliani and his cronies are aimed at fomenting hatred, undermining democracy, as well as distracting from the impeachment process and the critically important national security and constitutional questions before Congress," Silber told NBC.
Replying to Giuliani's comments in a Monday tweet, Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League said opposing Soros isn't what's anti-Semitic, but "saying that he controls ambassadors, employs FBI agents and isn't 'Jewish enough' to be demonized is."
Giuliani, who was mayor of New York during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has emerged as a major player in the impeachment inquiry. During the hearings, diplomats who testified said Giuliani led the effort to get Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations into Democrats before Zelensky could visit the Oval Office. He is mentioned four times in the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky.
The Washington Post has reported that Giuliani played a central role in ousting Yovanovitch from her post in April. This month, he bragged about his efforts in an interview with Fox News, saying "I forced her out because she's corrupt."
The Washington Post