Out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his bicycle are the stars of the latest rightwing conspiracy theory after he biked from his office to the White House for a cabinet meeting.
Republican pundits and social media users are claiming that he “staged” a photo-op and didn’t actually ride the bike despite video of the former Democratic presidential candidate leaving both locations on it. Snopes has already rated the conspiracy theory “False.”
Related: Pete Buttigieg teaches obtuse Fox News anchors that airports are infrastructure
CBS reporter DJ Judd tweeted a video of Buttigieg climbing onto his bike at the Department of Transportation (DOT) and wheeling away to his meeting. The bicycle is unloaded from a bike rack on the back of his security detail’s SUV.
The video is clearly from the DOT parking lot. Security spikes, distinctive pillars, and other features easily identify the location. There is no road or foot traffic nor any yellow road markers.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg biked to the White House for today's Cabinet Meeting, it would appear. pic.twitter.com/XfYRB3COqm
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) April 1, 2021
Another video, tweeted by journalist Katie Barlow, showed Buttigieg leaving the White House complex to bike back to his office about a half hour away.
The rightwing outrage machine quickly jumped on the video, falsely claiming that Buttigieg was only blocks away and the MAGA crowd desperately tried to give it wings… and failed miserably.
Many tweets were sent, YouTube videos were made, and articles were written about the dastardly scam that didn’t exist.
Pete Buttigieg's dog and pony show.
Use an armored Suburban to bring a bike within a short distance of the destination. Unload it and ride in with a security detail in tow, pretending to save energy. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/Pxynakrl59
— Tim Xeriland (@Xeriland) April 1, 2021
“He rode his bike to the White House Cabinet meeting and he rode his bike back to DOT after the meeting,” a spokesperson for the department told Snopes.
For his part, Buttigieg had no comment on the fever dream and, instead, retweeted Judd’s video himself, adding that riding a bike is a “great way to get around!”
Great way to get around! https://t.co/UdDdhxBgnD
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) April 2, 2021