Fact Check: No, Joe Biden has not appointed an Indian-origin man as political advisor?

A picture of a man of Indian origin with US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden is viral on social media. It is being said that the man named Ahmed Khan has been appointed as the political advisor to the President-elect.?What's the truth?

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The man in the viral post himself confirmed to us that he has not received any such message from Biden’s office and the claim is false.

US President-elect Joe Biden has started the groundwork for his administration even as President Donald Trump refuses to accept defeat. Biden, on November 11, made his first important appointment by naming his longtime adviser Ron Klain as his White House Chief of Staff.

Amid this, a picture of a man of Indian origin with Biden and his wife Jill Biden is viral on social media. It is being said that the man named Ahmed Khan has been appointed as the political advisor to the President-elect.

The caption in Hindi to one such post translate to, “#Bignews America's new President Joe Biden has appointed Ahmed Khan of Indian origin as his political advisor. It is worth noting that Ahmed Khan is an Indian and he belongs to Hyderabad. This is called politics without discrimination”.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that that claim is misleading. Though the man seen in the viral photo is Ahmed Khan of Indian origin, he confirmed to AFWA that as of November 13 he has not been appointed as the political advisor to Biden.

Similar claims are also viral on Facebook.

The archived versions of similar posts can be seen here, and here.

AFWA probe

During a reverse image search, we found the same photographs were carried by multiple media reports in 2015. According to the reports, the man in the image is Ahmed Khan, who was the Deputy Executive Director of Draft Biden 2016, a political action committee created to urge Joe Biden to run for 2016 presidential race. Khan is of Indian origin.

We also found a report by The New York Times confirming that Ahmed Khan was part of Draft Biden 2016.

Taking a cue from this, we further searched and found a Facebook post made by one Ahmed Khan on November 10 congratulating Biden on his election victory. Sharing the same images seen in the viral posts, Khan wrote the pictures were taken when he and other members of the Draft Biden 2016 committee were invited to Biden's then residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington D.C.

First and foremost, Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden!

Second, a huge shout out to the...

Posted by Ahmed Khan on Monday, 9 November 2020

However, in the post, Khan has made no mention of him getting recently appointed by Biden.

Checking the posts made by Khan on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, we were able to confirm it is the same person seen in the viral images.

We also found the same images shared by Khan on his Facebook account in 2015.

For better clarity on the matter, AFWA reached out to Khan who confirmed to us that he has not received any such message from Biden’s office and the viral claim is false.

“The viral claim is false. I have not been appointed as a political advisor. It is something I may try to pursue if my qualifications match. But no one has approached me from Biden’s office so far. I indeed worked in 2015 as Deputy Executive Director for a US political action committee known as "Draft Biden 2016". It focused on building a foundation and infrastructure for the then US Vice President Joe Biden's prospective candidacy for US President,” Khan said.

"The pictures are from a special reception at his then residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC that was conducted in acknowledgement of the Draft Biden team's efforts,” Khan added.

Khan, a lifelong resident of Chicago currently works at a University in its Global Affairs department. He also serves on Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam's "Multicultural Advisory Committee" in an advisory capacity.

Though Biden’s appointments for his new administration does have the names of a few Indian origin people who are appointed to his Covid-19 advisory board. This includes Dr Vivek Murthy who is named one of the three co-chairs of the board. However, we couldn’t find the name of any Ahmed Khan appointed as a political advisor to Biden's transition team.

Hence, it is clear that the viral claim about Ahmed Khan, an Indian origin man being appointed as political advisor to President-elect Joe Biden is false. As of November 13, 2020, Khan has not received any such appointment order from Biden’s office.

INDIA TODAY FACT CHECK
ClaimAhmed Khan, an Indian origin man from Hyderabad has been appointed as political advisor to the new US President-elect Joe Biden.?ConclusionAs of November 13, Khan has not received any such appointment order from the office of Joe Biden.?
JHOOTH BOLE KAUVA KAATE

The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

  • 1 Crow: Half True
  • 2 Crows: Mostly lies
  • 3 Crows: Absolutely false
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