Facebook refutes Soros claim of Trump-Zuckerberg ‘special relationship’

Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Facebook on Friday issued a statement renouncing recent allegations by liberal financier George Soros that there is a “special relationship” forming between the social media company and President Donald Trump.

“While we respect Mr. Soros’ right to voice his opinion, he’s wrong,” a spokesman for Facebook said. “The notion that we are aligned with any one political figure or party runs counter to our values and the facts. We continue making unprecedented investments to keep our platform safe, fight foreign interference in elections around the world, and combat misinformation.”

The tech company issued the statement following recent comments by Soros alleging that the there is “an informal mutual assistance operation or agreement developing between Trump and Facebook.” Soros made the comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, and he followed them up on Friday in an opinion piece on the New York Times.

Soros wrote, “Brad Parscale, the digital director of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and now his campaign manager for 2020, said that Facebook helped Mr. Trump and gave him the edge. This seems to have marked the beginning of a special relationship.”

He continued, “Facebook will help President Trump to get re-elected and Mr. Trump will, in turn, defend Facebook against attacks from regulators and the media.”

In his piece, Soros highlighted a September 2019 White House meeting between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Trump. Soros also wrote that neither Zuckerberg nor Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg should be left in control of the social media company.

“They follow only one guiding principle: maximize profits irrespective of the consequences,” Soros wrote.

The spat between the social network and Soros goes back to the 2018 World Economic Forum, where Soros said Facebook and Google were menaces and had become “powerful monopolies.” Following those comments, Facebook reportedly worked with a Washington-based public relations firm called Definers Public Affairs to press reporters to explore Soros’ financial connections with groups that protested the company.

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