Fake Barack Obama Espionage Arrest Debunked Amid Former President’s Vaccine Commitment

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks during an event to recognize emerging global entrepreneurs May 11, 2015 at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

A Friday USA Today fact check threw cold water a recent report claiming that former President Barack Obama was arrested for espionage.

As noted by the publication, the news first appeared on Conservative Beaver and claimed that Obama was arrested for conspiring with a former CIA business partner. The pair were alleged to have communicated classified information to the People’s Republic of China.

“In reality, Obama has not been arrested for any crimes — espionage or otherwise. Conservative Beaver appears to have fabricated the story,” USA Today explained.

“The majority of its article was copied directly from a press release the Department of Justice issued on Aug. 17 to announce the arrest of an unrelated individual, Alexander Yuk Ching Ma.”

As with the false Obama claim, Ma was charged with conspiring with a relative — who is a former CIA officer — that funneled intelligence to the PRC. Elsewhere, a series of quotes from former Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers used in the debunked article was lifted from the previously mentioned press release.

“Obama has not been arrested for any crimes — espionage or otherwise. The story was fabricated by Conservative Beaver, which stole most of its claim from a press release announcing the arrest of an unrelated individual,” the fact check concluded.

USA Today also noted that the same outlet previously doctored an indictment for a debunked report that alleged George Soros was arrested for election-related crimes.

Reuters issued a fact check days earlier that came to the same conclusion. The publication also wrote that the claims were fabricated from a Justice Department announcement of the arrest of a CIA official and falsely tied to Obama.

Former President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on September 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  Mark Makela / Getty Images

The fake reporting comes as the former president vowed to receive a coronavirus vaccine on camera. Per CNN, Obama was joined in his commitment by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The trio reportedly hopes that an awareness campaign will help the American public gain more confidence in a vaccine as their trust remains too low to achieve herd immunity.

As The Inquisitr wrote, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said that a COVID-19 vaccine could help the United States achieve herd immunity reasonably quickly. Nevertheless, surveys revealed that many Americans are still skeptical, and Fauci warned that the process could not be achieved if just 40 to 50 percent are on-board to receive the preparation.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, claimed that herd immunity requires as high as 75 percent of the population to have antibodies.