Congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted a video showing two men giving cash to people and claimed it shows people in Honduras being given cash to “storm the US border.”
BREAKING: Footage in Honduras giving cash 2 women & children 2 join the caravan & storm the US border @ election time. Soros? US-backed NGOs? Time to investigate the source! pic.twitter.com/5pEByiGkkN
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 17, 2018
Background: Matt Gaetz is the freshman Congressman who GQ Magazine has called “the Trumpiest Congressman in Trump’s Washington,” meaning that he has a tendency to make bold statements that are widely viewed as controversial.
According to the Conservative Tribune by Western Journal, the claim is that a brewing “March of the Migrant” involving thousands of people marching from Honduras through Guatemala and Mexico in time to be at the US border for the mid-term elections may be externally funded, possibly by George Soros.
The video was quickly picked up and amplified by President Donald Trump, who reposted it.
But on Thursday afternoon, Luis Assandro, a Guatemalan journalist, tracked down both the location of the video and spoke to people involved, debunking Gaetz’s speculation about who was getting paid and why. According to Jack Crosbie, writing for Splinter News – an admittedly left leaning news service – the video was made in Guatemala and the money came from locals.
Gaetz, himself, has tweeted an update, stating he believed the video came from Honduras because it came from a Honduran official.
The Conservative Tribune is listed as a Questionable source by the media bias rating website, Media Bias Fact Check (MBFC). MBFC specifies this rating is based on “extreme right wing bias and numerous failed fact checks.”
Overall, this is false until proven otherwise. The video originates from Guatemala and is not part of a conspiracy to storm the border, though it is certainly true there is a migrant caravan (up to 3000) that has been stopped by Mexico. Further, there is zero evidence to support the claim that George Soros is involved in any way. Snopes has also reviewed this claim and has determined it was false stating “This tweet was replete with factual inaccuracies and baseless accusations.”
Source: WikiTribune with Dave Van Zandt as collaborator. This fact check remains open for editing on WikiTribune, but as of this writing this is an unproven conspiracy theory.