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Saturday, Dec 03, 2022

DeSantis calls Biden's 'Disinformation' board a 'Ministry of Truth'

DeSantis calls Biden's 'Disinformation' board a 'Ministry of Truth'

'You cannot have a Ministry of Truth in this country. We're not going to let Biden get away with this one. So we will be fighting back,' the Republican said on Friday at a news conference.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has joined the chorus of critics tearing into the Biden administration's new 'Disinformation Governance Board' - headed by a 'Russia expert' who said Hunter Biden's laptop was a 'product of the Trump campaign'

'You cannot have a Ministry of Truth in this country. We’re not going to let Biden get away with this one. So we will be fighting back,' the Republican said on Friday at a news conference.

'When you’re not doing well, you have two options: You can try to do better. Or you can try to silence your critics. [The Biden Administration] is doing the latter,' he added.

DeSantis led the uptick in fury as Republican Senator Tom Cotton said he would introduce legislation to have the new 'Disinformation' board defunded and a new video showed its head Nina Jankowicz singing about 'misinformation' to the tune of the Mary Poppins song 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.'

'You cannot have a Ministry of Truth in this country. We’re not going to let Biden get away with this one. So we will be fighting back,' Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Friday at a news conference


Jen Psaki on Friday defended the head of President Joe Biden 's 'Disinformation Governance Board' and slammed the board's critics, noting its existence goes back to the Donald Trump administration.

Psaki pushed back, noting Jankowicz is 'an expert on online disinformation.'

'Any hiring decisions are up to the Department of Homeland Security, but this is a person with extensive qualifications,' she noted.

Jankowicz, who has researched Russian misinformation tactics and online harassment, is author of the book 'How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.' She has also advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications, according to the Wilson Center think-tank, where she served as a global fellow.

Psaki also pointed out repeatedly in her press briefing that the board was created in the Trump administration.

'This is a continuation of work that began at the Department of Homeland Security in 2020 under former President Trump,' she said.

'So for anyone who is critical of it, I didn't hear them being critical of the work under the former president, which is just interesting to note contextually,' she added.

She said of the work the board will do includes understanding how misinformation spread by human smugglers helps prey on vulnerable populations trying to enter the United States.

'This is also work that is helping to address unauthorized terrorism, other threats and see how disinformation and misinformation is being pushed to lead to increase those,' she said.

Jankowicz, a self-described 'Russia expert', has questioned the authenticity of Hunter Biden's laptop by calling it a 'product of the Trump campaign' - even though its contents have been verified.

In March 2020 she also said on 1COVID1 restrictions: 'Lock us down. People are not taking this (1COVID1) seriously'.

'Information laundering is really quite ferocious. It’s when a huckster takes some lies and makes them sound precocious,' she sings in the new video.

The head of the Biden administration's new 'Disinformation Governance Board' Nina Jankowicz sings about 'misinformation' to the tune of Mary Poppins song 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'


'By saying them in Congress or a mainstream outlet, so disinformation’s origins are slightly less atrocious.

'It’s how you hide a little, hide a little, little, little lie, it’s how you hide a little, little lie, it’s how you hide a little, little, little lie.

'When Rudy Giuliani shared bad intel from Ukraine. Or when TikTok influencers say 1Covid1 can’t cause pain. They’re laundering disinfo and we really should take note. And not support their lies with our wallet, voice or vote – oh!'

Jankowicz was brought on to lead the Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Board to combat disinformation related to national security – and she expressed concerns last week that Musk expanding free speech on social media would be bad for 'marginalized communities'.

On Wednesday, Jankowicz defended her previous remarks casting doubt on the validity of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

A tweet Jankowicz sent in October 2020 has resurfaced and is making the rounds in conservative circles.

'Back on the 'laptop from hell,' apparently- Biden notes 50 former natsec officials and 5 former CIA heads that believe the laptop is a Russian influence op,' she tweeted at the time.

She added: 'Trump says 'Russia, Russia, Russia.'

She now claims that the tweet was part of her 'live tweeting' a debate between Trump and Biden just one month before the presidential general election as Republicans are using the post to pounce on her political leanings.

'For those who believe this tweet is a key to all my views, it is simply a direct quote from both candidates during the final presidential debate,' Jankowicz defended in a repost of the original tweet.

'If you look at my timeline, you will see I was livetweeting that evening,' she added in the Wednesday night tweet.

Jankowicz confirmed reports on Wednesday that she is being brought on as executive director of the new board at DHS.

Republicans immediately blasted the move, claiming she has shown too much bias to head the group – specifically in casting doubt on Hunter's laptop scandal.

In October 2020, Jankowicz called the laptop stories a 'Trump campaign product.'

Elon Musk called on Thursday the creation of Joe Biden's new 'disinformation' board 'discomforting' as the president tapped a Russia misinformation 'expert' to lead the initiative.

The billionaire, who just acquired Twitter this week, was responding to a tweet from conservative political commentator, comedian and media personality Steven Crowder.

'The government is creating a misinformation governance board,' Crowder tweeted on Thursday.

'Who else did something like that?' he continued. 'Oh I remember, the Nazi's. And there's some data showing some interesting things going on post- @elonmusk's Twitter takeover!'

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton also chimed in Friday saying the U.S. government had 'no business creating a Ministry of Truth'



Republican Senator Josh Hawley is demanding that the White House 'dissolve' the new Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Board she is heading, claiming that it would only 'monitor Americans' free speech'.

Senator Hawley insisted on Thursday that the board should be dissolved before it even gets started.

'I write with deep concern about the Department of Homeland Security's decision to create a new Disinformation Governance Board,' he penned in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

'I confess I at first thought this announcement was satire,' he continued. 'Surely no American Administration would ever use the power of Government to sit in judgment on the First Amendment speech of its own citizens.'

'Sadly, I was mistaken.'

Republicans immediately pounced after Jankowicz, a Russian disinformation expert, confirmed Wednesday that she will head up the new Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Board

Nina Jankowicz defended her previous casting of doubt on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, claiming that a tweet she sent in October 2020 was a livetweet of a debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump


He then demanded that DHS provide more information on this new board, including how it will function and be monitored.

Hawley also questioned why the announcement was made just following billionaire Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter, which he vowed to make a more free speech platform with all ideas.

Jankowicz was critical of Musk buying Twitter, claiming that more free speech on the social media platform was a negative thing.

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson sent a statement against the formation of the board.

'The Biden Administration has not proven itself to be a credible arbiter of 'disinformation.' Instead, it has taken steps to silence information that is unflattering to this Administration under the guise of 'disinformation,' Johnson wrote.

'For example, unnamed intelligence officials, the media, and social media platforms engaged in a coordinated effort to censor stories about Hunter Biden's laptop and his questionable financial dealings under the false label of 'disinformation.'

'I am concerned DHS's Disinformation Board will only serve to silence or censor those voices critical of your disastrous policies and serve a political cover for your failure to secure the border,' the senator concluded.

Mayorkas did not disclose any powers that would be granted to the dystopian-sounding board while addressing lawmakers on Wednesday.

He explained that the board would work to tackle disinformation ahead of the November midterms, particularly in Hispanic communities.

He also said that the board would come under the Biden-era Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3), meaning it would have no powers to crack down on disinformation and will instead try to combat it by throwing money at what it sees as problems.

The CP3 program provides communities with resources and tools to help prevent individuals from radicalizing to violence. Last year, CP3 awarded about $20 million in grants through its Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program. It is unclear how much cash will be spent on the Disinformation Board.

Mayorkas noted that the focus of the new board would be to stop the spread of misinformation in minority communities, including election misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterms.

He added that it would focus on the latest trend of misinformation allegedly targeting Spanish-speaking voters. No further details on the exact misinformation being deployed against these communities was shared.

Jankowicz, who revealed she was the head of the department following Mayorkas' meeting with lawmakers, tweeted: '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.

Mayorkas noted that the focus of the new board would be to stop the spread of misinformation in minority communities, including election misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterms.

He added that it would focus on the latest trend of misinformation allegedly targeting Spanish-speaking voters. No further details on the exact misinformation being deployed against these communities was shared.

Jankowicz, who revealed she was the head of the department following Mayorkas' meeting with lawmakers, tweeted: '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.

'Honored to be serving in the Biden Administration @DHSgov and helping shape our counter-disinformation efforts.'

She added that 'a HUGE focus of our work, and indeed, one of the key reasons the Board was established, is to maintain the Dept's committment (sic) to protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights, & civil liberties.'

The Russia disinformation expert previously called the laptop of President Joe Biden's son Hunter a 'Trump campaign product'.

This is causing questions over Jankowicz's ability to accurately judge disinformation now that several sources have come out confirming the validity of Hunter's laptop.

Jankowicz also suggested last week that she opposes the The First Amendment because she thinks it is bad for 'marginalized communities' and called Elon Musk a 'free speech absolutist' because he wants to make Twitter more open to all voices.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's request for comment.

Jankowicz is a fellow at the Wilson Center where she studies the 'intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe'. She is also the author of How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.

When stories about Hunter Biden's laptop started emerging, several outlets, social media sites and left-leaning disinformation experts claimed that it was just misinformation coming from Trump and others on the right.

In an October 2020 report, Jankowicz shared her skepticism of the contents of the laptop and the claims it belonged to Hunter.

'We should view it as a Trump campaign product,' she told the New York Daily News at the time.

Twitter repeatedly took down the Hunter Biden laptop story and prevented it from being spread on the platform.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who just purchased Twitter, said that his aim is to make the social media platform a more open 'digital town square.'

'Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,' Musk wrote in a statement upon the purchase approval.

Jankowicz spoke with NPR last week and questioned Musk's purchase of the platform and

'I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities,' she said.

She said these groups are 'already shouldering…disproportionate amounts of this abuse' and said free speech and lack of censoring on social media would make it worse.

Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley tweeted an image of her remarks to NPR with the caption: 'The Biden Administration's new anti-speech czar is apparently no fan of the ⁦ @elonmusk⁩ Twitter acquisition.'

'This is the person Joe Biden just put in charge of policing Americans' speech. Using the power of the government.'

Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategist communications – she also managed democracy assistance programs to Russia and Belarus.

She received her masters in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and her bachelors degree from Bryn Mawr College.

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