Social media posts, stating that an Indian, Ahmed Khan has been appointed as an advisor to now United States President-elect Joe Biden is misleading.
BOOM spoke to Khan and he confirmed that he had served as the Deputy Executive Director of 'Draft Biden 2016', a platform that precluded a potential Biden presidential run in 2016. Posts claiming that Biden has appointed Khan as an advisor have shared photos from 2015 of the duo, which Khan said are dated. He is currently not associated with the Biden campaign, and works as a political advisor on a committee for Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam.
BOOM also found no evidence of Khan's name being on the publicly available names of Biden's presidential transition team.
The posts are viral after Joe Biden crossed the 270-delegate threshold at the electoral college to be projected as the 46th President of United States. He is slated to be sworn in on January 20, 2021, when he succeeds incumbent President Donald Trump. While technicalities around the elections still continue to get him formally elected even as Trump is contesting the results, Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris have already established a transition team as they prepare to take the reigns of the government.
BOOM found several claims on social media sharing a picture of Biden and Khan together with claims generally stating 'A newly Elected President of America Joe biden has made Ahmed Khan, a resident of Hyderabad, India, his political Advisor...Congratulations"
Some posts making these claims can be found below. They carry a photo of Khan posing with Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden.
BOOM reached out to Khan who confirmed that he is a US citizen who has been a resident of Chicago. He was previously also affiliated with the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic ticket, where this is mentioned. "Ahmed Khan is a lifelong resident of Chicago with a decade of civic engagement, political, and non-profit experience", the Bernie Sanders campaign page says. An archived version of the page can be found here.
Khan also denied being appointed an advisor to Biden. Speaking to BOOM, he said, "The claims in the viral tweet are false. I have not been currently appointed as a political advisor. It seems that some overambitious persons may have mistook some old information for current and shared on their social media which I was made aware via numerous people sharing those tweets with me."
Currently, Khan is serving on the 'Multicultural Advisory Committee' for Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam as a political advisor.
Khan worked as the deputy executive director of 'Draft Biden 2016', working towards building a foundation for a potential presidential run by Biden in 2016.
Throwing light at the context of the pictures, he said, "He had decided not to pursue his candidacy but the pictures were from a special reception at his then residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC, at which I and the Draft Biden team were invited to participate in appreciation of our efforts with the committee."
Draft Biden's work can be seen the with New York Times on June 19, 2015.
Khan has outlined these pictures in a Facebook post on November 10 in a post congratulating Biden on his electoral victory.
His Facebook post can be viewed below.
Khan also shared a post made by him on Facebook on December 11, 2015, on his meeting with Biden
This meeting was also covered by a newspaper called Muslim Mirror December 2015. Find the link here.
Further, BOOM could not find Khan's name on the Biden-Harris presidential transition team, or in an update on his appointment as an advisor from its recent releases. An archived version of the list of its agency review teams can be found here.
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