FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Joe Biden’s ‘Chinese Handler’?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show a “Chinese handler” for President Joe Biden wearing a pin of the Chinese Communist Party.

Verdict: False

The image shows Korean-American Secret Service agent David Cho, not a “Chinese handler.”

Fact Check: 

The Facebook post shows a man in a face mask standing behind Biden and alleges that man is a “Chinese ‘handler'” that “has been following Biden around all day.” In the image, the square-shaped pin on the man’s lapel has been circled.

“This Chinese ‘handler’ has been following Biden around all day. Literally right next to him everywhere he goes,” the post reads in part. “If that wasn’t bad enough he actually has the brazen balls to wear his Chinese Communist Party pin openly on his lapel for all to see. This cannot stand.”

While Check Your Fact could not determine the exact source of the photo, it appears to have been taken at Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. An Associated Press photo taken on Inauguration Day identifies the man as Cho, a U.S. Secret Service agent.

CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio and Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig also identified the man pictured near Biden as Cho on Twitter.

The Washington Post reported in late December that the Secret Service planned to select Cho to lead Biden’s security detail. Cho, who is Korean-American, previously served under former President Donald Trump and worked as second-in-command of the protective detail, according to NBC News.

In 2019, Cho was awarded the Exceptional Service Gold Medal for “participation in high-level negotiations with the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, planning all security details for both Presidential visits to that country, while still leading the men and women of the Presidential Protective Division’s White House Section in their zero-fail mission on the White House Complex,” according to the Department of Homeland Security website.

The Facebook post’s claim that Cho was wearing Chinese Communist Party pin on his lapel at the inauguration doesn’t hold up either. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Joe Biden Wearing His Walking Boot On The Wrong Foot)

Photos tweeted out by the verified Secret Service Twitter account indicate other Secret Service agents wore the pins during the inauguration. Secret Service can also be seen wearing the same pins in a photo published in a November 2020 Business Insider article and a photo shared Jan. 21 on the verified Secret Service Facebook page.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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