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USU commencement speaker Tom Vilsack arrives amid debunked rumors of his arrest

AP Photo
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks during a visit to Wheat Ridge Poultry and Meats, a Colorado butcher shop and meat processor, in January 2022.

As U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack prepares to deliver the commencement address at Thursday’s Utah State University graduation, a rumor about his arrest is being dispelled.

The USDA made a statement to Farm Journal on Monday saying there is no truth to claims spread online in recent days that the secretary was being held by the military on charges of treason in connection with recent fires at food-processing plants.

According to the fact-checking website Snopes, the story had its origin with the right-wing satire website Real Raw News, which said Vilsack was suspected of deliberately trying to destroy food processing facilities in order to create a food shortage that the Biden administration could blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The tale then reportedly got spread through social media. Read the rest of the story on HJnews.com.

This story is made possible thanks to a community reporting partnership between The Herald Journal and Utah Public Radio.