CNN’s Dana Bash confronted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the department’s plan to establish a “disinformation” board during Sunday’s episode of “State of the Union.”
“Republicans are calling it ‘Orwellian’ and comparing it to the Ministry of Truth in the novel ‘1984,’” Bash said. “Can you clarify what exactly is this? What exactly will this disinformation governance board do? Will it monitor American citizens?”
Mayorkas said the board would be used to combat foreign disinformation that is a threat to homeland security but admitted the administration “could have done a better job of communicating” what the board would do.
“Will American citizens be monitored?” Bash followed up.
Mayorkas said American citizens would not be monitored, saying, “the board does not have any operational authority or capability.”
Bash then raised criticisms of board leader Nina Jankowicz, noting many claim Jankowicz is not a neutral figure. (RELATED: Disinformation And Wizard Rock: Meet Biden’s New ‘Minister Of Truth’ At DHS)
Mayorkas called Jankowicz “eminently qualified.”
“Would you be okay if Donald Trump were president, if he created this disinformation governance board? Or — if it is in place and he wins again in 2024 — that he’s in charge of such a thing?” Bash then asked.
“I believe that this working group, that gathers together best practices, makes sure that our work is coordinated, consistent with those best practices, that we’re safeguarding the right to free speech, that we’re safeguarding liberties, I think, is an extraordinary important endeavor.”
The DHS announced the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board to counter what it considers misinformation and disinformation, particularly disinformation coming from Russia and misleading rhetoric about the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas said Sunday night on Fox News that he stands by Jankowicz and regards her as “a subject matter expert.”
“I don’t question her objectivity.”
Jankowicz attempted to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story, telling ABC News in October of 2020 the story is “a Trump campaign product.” She also claimed the now-discredited Steele dossier was funded by Republicans in a 2017 tweet and raised concerns about Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter during an interview on National Public Radio.