A viral post claiming that President-elect Joe Biden's transition team was removed from the Pentagon for passing on intel to China was found to be fake. The claim came days ahead of Biden's swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20 amid protests from outgoing President Donald Trump citing baseless voter fraud allegations.
The post went viral on social media in late December and claimed that the Biden transition team passed on intel about "naval movements" in the contested South China Sea to the Chinese government "within 30 minutes" of receiving it from Secretary of Defense.
"Last week the Biden transition team was removed from the Pentagon and now we know why. The Secretary of Defense gave disinformation to the Biden team about Naval movements in the South China Sea," the post claimed. "Within 30 minutes the intel was leaked to the CCP. Anyone that is okay with this needs to have their head checked. Biden is in bed with China."
However, the post did not back up its claims with evidence. Fact-checking website Snopes reported that the claim was false and that if "such a stunning event" happened, it would be widely reported in the media. Previously, the Biden team said that the Trump administration obstructed the transition process by not sharing important information such as Russian cyberattack against American government agencies or plans to distribute Covid-19 vaccines in the country.
The viral post came after ahead of Congress meeting on Jan. 6 to tally the Electoral College votes. Trump called for a protest in Washington D.C. during the meeting to oppose the session over voter fraud allegations that have not been proved. He also encouraged his supporters to take part in the protest and assured that it "will be wild."
"Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!" Trump tweeted earlier this month.
The outgoing President also urged Republican Congressional leaders to not acknowledge Biden's victory.
"[Biden] didn't win the Election. He lost all 6 Swing States, by a lot. They then dumped hundreds of thousands of votes in each one, and got caught. Now Republican politicians have to fight so that their great victory is not stolen. Don't be weak fools!" he said in the tweet.