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 tunnels are part of a series of conspiracy theories surrounding “Jade Helm 15,” a military training operation set to take place later this year in seven Western states. The conspiracy theorists have said the operation may be part of a covert attempt to takeover Texas and other states.
In response to the theories, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week issued an order for the state guard to monitor the U.S. military — a decision he defended on Monday.
Theorists have suggested that five Wal-Mart retail locations were shuttered abruptly because of Jade Helm 15. They have suggested that the closed stores, one of which is located in Texas, will serve as “food distribution centers” and will be used to “house the headquarters of invading troops from China, here to disarm Americans one by one.”
Another theory suggested that there was already a system of underground tunnels below the closed Wal-Marts.
Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.