Samantha Renck on May 6, 2022
Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr denounced the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new Disinformation Governance Board, characterizing its leader as an unqualified “radical.”
“I don’t think that it’s the government’s function to set up a panel on disinformation,” Barr told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) about the board.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the disinformation board on April 27. The board’s purpose is to address disinformation and misinformation against minority communities, according to the secretary.
Nina Jankowicz, who worked at the Wilson Center as a global fellow and a disinformation fellow, is the executive director of the board. She “joined the Biden administration to lead a new initiative” in early March, according to her LinkedIn.
“She doesn’t seem qualified,” Barr said about Jankowicz. “She seems to be a radical.”
Cat’s out of the bag: here’s what I’ve been up to the past two months, and why I’ve been a bit quiet on here.
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) April 27, 2022
Other Republicans have also criticized the new board, notably Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson who introduced legislation Tuesday that would defund it.
“No Federal funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available to the Secretary of Homeland Security,” the legislation states, “may be made available to establish or fund the activities of a Disinformation Governance Board.”
“It’s basically a Ministry of Truth, and what they want to do is they want to be able to put out false narratives without people being able to speak out and fight back,” Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said about the board. “They want to be able to say things like ‘Russia collusion’ and perpetuate hoaxes and then have people like us be silenced.”
Republicans have also sounded the alarm over Jankowicz previously suggesting the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation.
Joe Biden’s new disinformation czar Nina Jankowicz publicly cast doubt on The Post’s accurate reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop and promoted false rumors suggesting it was Russian disinformation. https://t.co/uStPS6GfRV pic.twitter.com/K5IgKwUwdY
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) April 30, 2022
“When the department picked her, did it know that she had said that Mr. Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian disinformation?” Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy asked Mayorkas at Wednesday’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.
“Senator, let me repeat myself and add one other fact. I was not aware of that. We do not discuss the internal hiring process,” Mayorkas said. “Ultimately, as the secretary, I’m responsible for the decisions of the Department of Homeland Security.”
DHS did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
When reaching Jankowicz for comment, the DCNF was referred to DHS.
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