Fake account falsely claims that CIA chief told Biden that Imran Khan will win the next election
The tweet containing the claim appears to be from fake account
Claim: According to a tweet by defense analyst Davis Jackman, the head of the CIA told US President Joe Biden that former Prime Minister Imran Khan will likely win the upcoming general elections in Pakistan with two-thirds majority.
Fact: The claim is false. There is no publicly available evidence to suggest the head of the CIA made such a comment. Further, there are no public records of a defense analyst named Davis Jackman. The profile picture of the account responsible for the tweet appears to have been taken from a website where the man in the image is identified as William H. Krause, a petroleum engineer. The name William H. Krause does not appear to be connected to a real person.
On 28 June 2022, Twitter account @DavisJakman shared an image with the following caption: “Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan will likely get 2/3 Majority in upcoming elections: CIA chief told Biden.”
The image and claim reached thousands of people who amplified the message by sharing it onwards, tagging news networks and journalists. Soch Fact Check decided to investigate, after a number of journalists and political commentators, including @husainhaqqani and @Razarumi, flagged the tweet as false.
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check first looked into whether current CIA Director William J Burns has released a statement or made a public comment regarding Imran Khan. Soch Fact Check, conducted a Google search with the keywords: “William” “Burns” “Imran” “Khan” limited the to the month of June since the tweet in question was posted on 28 June 2022. The search did not turn up any results and we were, therefore, able to conclude that such a statement was not made publicly by the CIA Director.
We then analysed the Twitter profile purporting to be defence analyst David Jackman.
The Twitter handle using the name Davis Jackman was created in May 2022. The name has a Russian flag emoji next to it and the bio reads, “Political & Defence Analyst | Strategic Affair | Main Focus on South Asia | 15 Years Journey in Journalism | Work for Regional Peace”.
The account follows eight people, including Elon Musk, Imran Khan and six other verified accounts. The account’s 1,053 followers are mostly Pakistani social media users.
Out of eleven original tweets by the account, six are positive tweets praising Imran Khan, while one criticises the recent “regime change” in Pakistan, referring to the removal of Imran Khan from office following a vote of no-confidence against him.
Two of the six tweets about Imran Khan included images of Putin with Khan, with captions stating that Putin has declared open support for Imran Khan, and the futures of Russia and Pakistan are connected.
Soch Fact Check carried out extensive searches on Google and Yandex (a Russian search engine) using the name Davis Jackman and the terms “journalist”, “reporter” and “analyst”, in both English and Russian. There were no results, suggesting that Davis Jackman is a made-up persona.
To further investigate, we conducted a Google Reverse Image Search of the Twitter account’s display picture which brought us to the website www.williamhkrause.info.
This website’s homepage says that William H. Krause, the man in the image, is a petroleum engineer and a philanthropist. The website also suggests that Krause is affiliated with the Pure Heart Foundation.
However, when we conducted searches with the name William Krause, we did not find any evidence of a petroleum engineer and philanthropist who resembled the man in the image. We also searched for a Wiliam Krause who resembled the man in the image on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram but could not not find any individual who matched. There was also no mention of a William H. Krause on the “Our Team” page of the Pure Heart Foundation website. .
Based on the above, it appears the account responsible for the tweet is not authentic and a picture of an unknown individual has been lifted and placed alongside a made-up analyst’s name. While Soch Fact Check cannot confirm, the Twitter account bears the hallmarks of pages connected with spreading Russian disinformation. Posts on the account feature heavily pro-PTI messaging, particularly focusing on Imran Khan’s relationship with Russia. Timothy Graham and Jay Daniel Thompson write for The Conversation “We tracked the Twitter activity of 75 official Russian government accounts and found that they are a major source and amplifier of disinformation. At the time of writing these accounts together have a total of 7,366,622 followers.” The impact of state-backed disinformation campaigns can not be underestimated.
A few days after his tweets went viral, some Twitter users started questioning the legitimacy of the account itself, examples of this can be found here, here, here and here. The user changed the profile picture of the @DavisJakman Twitter handle and eventually deleted the entire profile from the platform.
Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 10-day period from 28 June 2022 to 7 July 2022 using the following search terms:
- “Davis” “Jackman”
For this search phrase, we found a total of 852 interactions across Facebook posts sharing the tweet claiming that Imran Khan will likely win a two-third majority in the upcoming elections. These posts can be found here, here, here, here and here.
The original tweet received more than 2,249 retweets and 5,864 likes before it was deleted on 8 July 2022. PTI politicians including former deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Shabaz Gill and Zartaj Gul retweeted it. Other accounts with thousands of followers also shared the tweet.
Conclusion: A Twitter account with the handle @DavisJakman tweeted that the CIA Chief has told President Joe Biden that Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan will likely win the next election with a two-thirds majority. However, Soch Fact Check concluded that the claim is false. There is no publicly available information which suggests there is a defense analyst named David Jackman. The account appears to be fake, i.e. not connected to a real person, with the activity on its timeline comprising only pro-PTI messaging.