Following President Joe Biden's inauguration, many far-right extremists online took notice of the Asian-American man standing near Biden in many of the day's images.
Upon seeing this figure—never more than a few feet from Biden—many conspiracy theorist Trump supporters reached what they felt was an obvious conclusion—the man is Joe Biden's "Chinese handler." Because that's completely rational.
They shared their claims online.
Who is this guy that remains right beside Biden everywhere he goes? https://t.co/MfFVeVSaiQ— Haley Kennington 🇺🇲 (@Haley Kennington 🇺🇲)1611097767.0
@kenningtonsays @Aquilin23651581 Biden's Chinese handler. To make sure he does what he's told. Congrats America!! T… https://t.co/iIvLAFXQaX— 🍿RCDarcy🍿 (@🍿RCDarcy🍿)1611137305.0
Biden's Chinese handler is never more than 3 feet apart https://t.co/hUQslTDhiv— Bob Roberts (@Bob Roberts)1611143816.0
Of course, the conspiracy theory was racist nonsense.
The man pictured was decorated Secret Service agent David Cho, who was chosen to lead Biden's presidential security and also protected President Trump.
Cho is Korean American—Korea is not part of China.
@JakeBlade14 @robert_spalding Ye GODZ, I guess he was Trumps Chinese Handler as well!! because he was with Trump a… https://t.co/4d0xRGOlBx— BlackScorpion (@BlackScorpion)1611260954.0
The new conspiracy is Biden has a "Chinese handler" because an Asian man kept near him during the inauguration. Do… https://t.co/P39YWDvwXw— Sean Mooney (@Sean Mooney)1611342661.0
@smilingrdh @JoeBiden The " Chinese handler" is Korean-American, 18yr veteran of the US Secret Service David Cho. T… https://t.co/jZiM3G3DR8— bacchaus35 (@bacchaus35)1611337981.0
According to VICE, Cho received the Department of Homeland Security's exceptional service gold medal in 2019 "for tireless and direct participation in high-level negotiations" during Trump's North Korean negotiations in Vietnam.
Really loved seeing the diversity this morning. Especially this Asian Secret Service agent!! David Cho! Yo, can we… https://t.co/9fEbZgm00v— philipwang (@philipwang)1611166261.0
The racist, conspiratorial garbage about Biden's "Chinese Handler" (aka David Cho the head of his secret service de… https://t.co/6wxcOJiR2r— Peter Du (@Peter Du)1611279598.0
Because god forbid someone of east Asian descent be an important part of a country built by immigrants. Even if he… https://t.co/BgmLjZ39ee— Peter Du (@Peter Du)1611279753.0
Many people online felt this particular conspiracy theory was even lazier than most.
That said, I do love the idea that the Chinese deep state is way too poor to pay white spies 🤠— Peter Du (@Peter Du)1611284122.0
Here’s David Cho receiving the Exceptional Service Gold Medal in 2019. https://t.co/JSSt8bWbK7 https://t.co/LQnbMK8QXl— Alistair Coleman (@Alistair Coleman)1611343347.0
In 2019, he was awarded the Department of Homeland Security's gold medal for his exceptional service 🇺🇲… https://t.co/WIOnrRtum2— Daughter of a SgtMaj #VetsResistSquadron (@Daughter of a SgtMaj #VetsResistSquadron)1611200199.0
Cho even served on Mitt Romney's security detail during his 2012 presidential run.
This is crazy, and makes me angry. David was a part of @MittRomney's @SecretService detail in 2012 and served with… https://t.co/NQO5HP9Qo1— Lanhee J. Chen (@Lanhee J. Chen)1611474074.0
Because people are racist and stupid as hell... https://t.co/Vqv4hbcTx9— Angry Asian Man (@Angry Asian Man)1611464568.0
As always, many people online would benefit greatly from taking the time to Google something before posting racist conspiracy theories on Twitter.