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Politics: Fact check: Conspiracy theory falsely says Biden arrested in plot to make Trump president

The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconduct

  The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconduct The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconductA dossier of unverified claims alleges serious conspiracy and misconduct in the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign.  The White House has dismissed the dossier as fiction, and most of the claims remain unverified. The timeline of major events, however, lines up.

The claim: Joe Biden was arrested and the military met in secret to make Donald Trump president

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden tells Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that the U.S. military's combat mission in Iraq will be over by the end of the year. © ASSOCIATED PRESS President Joe Biden tells Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that the U.S. military's combat mission in Iraq will be over by the end of the year.

Eight months after the 2020 election, conspiracy theories about President Joe Biden's victory continue to swirl on social media.

A July 26 Facebook Live video with more than 59,000 views says Biden's days in the White House are numbered.

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Democrats Face Leadership Vacuum If Neither Joe Biden or Kamala Harris Run in 2024

  Democrats Face Leadership Vacuum If Neither Joe Biden or Kamala Harris Run in 2024 President Biden has said he expects to run for another term—but he will be 81 years old during the next election, making him one of the oldest candidates ever.Former President Ronald Reagan was 77 years old at the end of his term in 1989, making Biden the oldest president ever. His age has led to speculation that he may choose not to run for a second term in 2024, despite the fact he's said he expects to run again.

"MILITARY CALLED AN EMERGENCY MEETING FOR MAKING TRUMP AS A PRESIDENT | BIDEN ARRESTED," reads the title and caption of the video, which was published by a page called Breaking New 247.

Those claims echo the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, which says former President Donald Trump and the U.S. military are secretly fighting a cabal of satanic, cannibalistic child sex traffickers. According to QAnon supporters, Biden and other top Democrats will be arrested for their crimes on a day of reckoning called "the storm."

Despite what you may have seen on Facebook, the storm is not upon us.

Fact check: False claim persists online that Trump will be reinstated as president in August

Biden has not been arrested – he's made public appearances since the Facebook video was published. There's no constitutional way for Trump to become president before Biden's term is over. And there's no evidence that the military is working to depose Biden. USA TODAY previously rated false the claim that Trump will be reinstated as president in August.

Biden's political standing fuels Democratic worry about 2024

  Biden's political standing fuels Democratic worry about 2024 COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — It was supposed to be a moment of triumph for Joe Biden. The Democratic president had just signed into law the most significant infrastructure package in generations. And he had done it by bringing Democrats and Republicans together, just as he promised during last year's campaign. But when Biden arrived in New Hampshire last week to promote the $1 trillion package at the foot of a crumbling bridge, not all of his VIP guests were in the mood to celebrate. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - President Joe Biden speaks before signing the $1.

USA TODAY reached out to Breaking New 247 for comment.

Biden wasn't arrested

The arrest of a U.S. president would make headlines across the world. But no credible news organizations have reported that Biden is in custody.

The Facebook video shows a photo of Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, former Army Corps of Engineers commander, at an April 2020 meeting on building emergency coronavirus hospitals. Overlaid on the photo, a graphic of a rhinoceros runs opposite an unidentified man in a suit.


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A voiceover does not offer any evidence to support the claim that Biden has been arrested. In fact, Breaking New 247's post didn't address that claim outside its video's caption and title.

The claim is easily debunked: Biden has made several public appearances over the past couple of days.

On July 26, he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in the Oval Office, during which he said the U.S. will end its combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year. That same day, he attended an event commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 27, he addressed the intelligence community at the Office of the Director for National Intelligence.

Bidens open holidays with Christmas tree and 'friendsgiving'

  Bidens open holidays with Christmas tree and 'friendsgiving' WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden opened the holiday season at the White House by breaking off a sprig from the official Blue Room tree and giving it — and a big smooch — to her toddler grandson. “Look how beautiful this is,” the first lady said of the 18 1/2-foot (5.6 meter) Fraser fir that was delivered by wagon to her Pennsylvania Avenue doorstep by Clydesdale horses named Ben and Winston. “It is beautiful. It's magnificent, really,” she said Monday.The first lady later joined President Joe Biden for a visit to the Army’s Fort Bragg in North Carolina to celebrate “friendsgiving” with service members and military families.

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Previous QAnon-related predictions, including claims that Biden wasn't actually inaugurated and that Trump would become president in March, haven't panned out. A more recent claim that Trump will be reinstated in August is also baseless.

No evidence military will depose Biden

Since the Electoral College votes have been certified, there is no constitutional way for Trump to become president until Biden's term is over in January 2025. And there's no evidence the U.S. military is secretly conspiring with Trump to overthrow Biden.

After the election, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, informally planned with other military leaders to block any attempts by Trump to use the armed forces to overturn the results, according to a recent book authored by Washington Post reporters. While Milley hasn't confirmed that reporting, he has said the military won't be used to broker election-related disputes.

Fact check: Arizona early votes falsely cited as evidence of voter fraud

Fact check: Dominion Voting Systems did not lose its lawsuits against Giuliani and Powell

  Fact check: Dominion Voting Systems did not lose its lawsuits against Giuliani and Powell Claims on social media that Dominion Voting Systems lost its defamation lawsuits against former Trump lawyers Giuliani and Powell are still false.Conspiracy theories and false claims targeting Dominion, a private company supplying voting systems in 28 states, were repeatedly promoted on social media and on One America News Network and Newsmax, conservative television networks who are also accused of spreading misinformation in lawsuits filed by the company.

“The military did not, and will not, and should not ever get involved in domestic politics,” Milley said during a July 21 news briefing. “We don’t arbitrate elections. That’s the job of the judiciary and the legislature and the American people. It is not the job of the U.S. military. We stayed out of politics. We’re an apolitical institution.”

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Biden was arrested and the military met in secret to make Trump president. The claim is related to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory. Biden has not been arrested, and there is no constitutional way for Trump to become president before Biden's term is over. Top military leaders have spoken out against using the armed forces to mediate election-related disputes.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Breaking New 247, July 26, Facebook post (archived)
  • USA TODAY, Feb. 4, What is QAnon? What to know about the baseless, far-right conspiracy theory connected to Marjorie Taylor Greene
  • PolitiFact, Aug. 27, 2020, What is QAnon, the baseless conspiracy spilling into US politics?
  • USA TODAY, July 23, Fact check: False claim persists online that Trump will be reinstated as president in August
  • C-SPAN, July 26, President Biden on Americans with Disabilities Act
  • C-SPAN, July 26, President Biden Meets with Iraqi Prime Minister
  • USA TODAY, July 26, US to end combat mission in Iraq by end of year, Biden announces in meeting with Iraqi prime minister
  • C-SPAN, July 27, President Biden Remarks to the Intelligence Community
  • USA TODAY, Jan. 28, Fact check: No basis for claims that President Joe Biden's inauguration was faked
  • USA TODAY, March 2, Police bolster security at US Capitol as QAnon theory claims Trump will become president March 4
  • Google Reverse Image Search, accessed July 27
  • Time magazine, April 8, 2020, Inside the Army Corps of Engineers' Race to Build Emergency Coronavirus Hospitals
  • National Archives, April 16, 2020 Electoral College Results
  • The Washington Post, July 14, Joint Chiefs chairman feared potential ‘Reichstag moment’ aimed at keeping Trump in power
  • U.S. Department of Defense, July 21, Secretary of Defense Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Milley Press Briefing
  • The Washington Post, July 21, Pentagon’s top general defends military as ‘apolitical’ after reported comments about Trump

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Democrats need a coherent response to attacks on critical race theory

  Democrats need a coherent response to attacks on critical race theory Republicans see it as wedge, focusing on the most radical interpretation to put Democrats on the defensive.Last year after police violence, left-wing Democrats talked about defunding the police. The vast majority of Democratic candidates, starting with Joe Biden, wanted to reform - not defund - police; however, caught in a squeeze, some down-ballot Democrats evaded the issue, and it hurt them.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Conspiracy theory falsely says Biden arrested in plot to make Trump president

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