White House’s Disinformation Board ‘Paused’ as Its Leader Submits Resignation

The Biden administration’s controversial Disinformation Governance Board was paused about three weeks after it was announced by the Department of Homeland Security, according to the person hired to run the panel, coming amid concerns that it would be weaponized by the administration against dissenting voices.

Nina Jankowicz, who was tapped by the White House to be in charge of the newly created board, told news outlets Wednesday that she’s submitted her resignation. In that statement, Jankowicz also confirmed that the Board’s “work [is] paused” and “its future uncertain.”

After it was learned that it would be Jankowicz, who the administration claimed was an expert in online disinformation, to lead the board, a number of users uncovered posts she had made on Twitter that touted the discredited “Steele dossier” that was used to smear former President Donald Trump and October 2020 claims that Hunter Biden’s laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign. It was later revealed that the laptop and messages about Biden’s overseas business deals were authentic.

“After six years dedicated to the study of disinformation and best practices in responding to it, I joined the Department of Homeland Security to be the executive director of the Disinformation Governance Board with the intention of supporting the Department’s important work addressing disinformation that affects the homeland,” she said in a statement to news outlets.

A spokesperson for DHS confirmed to The Washington Post that the board has been suspended. The individual also alleged that Jankowicz was “subjected to unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats,” without elaborating. The Epoch Times has contacted the agency for comment.

“In congressional hearings and in media interviews, the secretary has repeatedly defended her as eminently qualified and underscored the importance of the department’s disinformation work, and he will continue to do so,” the spokesperson said, referring to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Andrew Bates asserted that Jankowicz was “smeared by bad-faith, right-wing actors against a deeply qualified expert and against efforts to better combat human smuggling and domestic terrorism.”

“Neither Nina Jankowicz nor the board have anything to do with censorship or with removing content from anywhere. Their role is to ensure that national security officials are updated on how misinformation is affecting the threat environment. She has strong credentials and a history of calling out misinformation from both the Left and the Right,” Bates told the Washington Examiner.

However, neither the DHS spokesperson nor Bates made public reference to concerns that the Disinformation Governance Board would monitor American citizens. Republicans and other critics described it as the “Ministry of Truth” as referenced in George Orwell’s novel “1984,” and expressed fears that the panel would attempt to further stifle conservative viewpoints and individuals with views outside the mainstream—while one senator said on May 9 its creation was likely illegal under the provisions of the Antideficiency Act.

Mayorkas said that the panel would not be used to surveil Americans, asserting to CNN that the “board does not have any operational authority or capability.”

The creation of the panel came just a few days after tech CEO Elon Musk and Twitter’s board announced he would purchase the influential social media platform for $44 billion. In response, Musk wrote on Twitter earlier this month the panel’s creation is “discomforting” in response to a post from commentator Steven Crowder.

Jack Phillips

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Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.

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