Wal-Mart issued a statement Monday to TPM dismissing "rumors" that tunnels were being built by the U.S. military beneath closed stores in an attempt to launch a takeover of Texas.
"There’s no truth to the rumors," Wal-Mart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez told TPM via email.
The backstory…well, I don't know if I even understand. Some right-wing conspiracy theorists believe that a military training operation, called Jade Helm 15, is actually a plot by the Obama administration is planning military takeover of Texas and other states in the Southwest. And Walmart is in on it, with some recently closed stores possibly being used to "house the headquarters of invading troops from China, here to disarm Americans one by one." And also there are underground tunnels connecting the various Walmarts.
This sounds like the fringes of the fringes, but there was enough of a ruckus stirred up (led by right-wing radio host Alex Jones, who told listeners "Texas is listed as a hostile sector, and of course, we are. We're here defending the republic…") that both Walmart and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command issued official denials.
And Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is taking no chances. He ordered the State Guard to monitor the training exercise, stating, "It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed." Abbott yesterday stood by this action.
The Daily Show, naturally, had some fun with this last night. See clip above.