Liberal billionaire George Soros spent more on lobbying during President Donald Trump’s first year in office than he has in any previous year, disclosure forms show.
The Open Society Policy Center, a D.C.-based 501 (c)(4) nonprofit that focuses on domestic and international advocacy efforts and is a separate entity from Soros’s Open Society Foundations, poured $16.2 million into lobbying throughout the entirety of 2017.
Soros’s group reported spending $4.6 million during the first half of 2017 on its lobbying efforts. During the third quarter, Soros added $1.25 million to the total. Most of the lobbying expenditures—$10.3 million—were spent during the fourth quarter, which spans from October 1 to December 31.
Soros ramped up his efforts as the year progressed by pushing funds toward issues that have been seen as a direct attack on the deep-pocketed financier, such as Hungary’s Bill on Foreign Funded Organizations (LexNGO), a crackdown on foreign-funded organizations in that country.
Hungary’s parliament approved the law that targets foreign-funded NGOs in June of last year, saying they could “threaten the country’s political and economic interests and interfere with the functioning of its institutions.”
While the legislation does not mention Soros, who was born in Hungary and has given money to a number of NGOs in the country, by name, Hungarian politicians have said that they wanted to “sweep out” organizations tied to the financier, Bloomberg reported.