(NY POST) Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed Sunday that his department’s Orwellian “Disinformation Governance Board” will not monitor US citizens — and vouched for the “eminently qualified” agency czar who has been blasted by critics for being too partisan.
Mayorkas defended Nina Jankowicz amid questions from conservatives over her ability to ferret out disinformation when she doubted the credibility of The Post’s series of reports in October 2020 about Hunter Biden’s laptop — information that has since been confirmed by other newspapers and media outlets.
Jankowicz was also mocked when a wacky TikTok video surfaced of her singing a rendition of the Mary Poppins tune “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” to address the spread of disinformation.
Mayorkas praised Jankowicz on CNN as “eminently qualified” and a “renowned expert in the field of disinformation.”
Asked by host Bret Baier during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” about Jankowicz’s objectivity, Mayorkas said he had no reservations.
“I don’t question her objectivity. There are people in the department who have a diverse range of views and they’re incredibly dedicated to mission. We’re not the opinion police,” he told Baier.
The DHS secretary was pressed on CNN about whether everyday Americans will end up being surveilled by the disinformation board.
“It’s still not clear to me how this governance board will act and what will it do,” Bash told Mayorkas.
Mayorkas responded, “So what it does is it works to ensure that the way in which we address threats, the connectivity between threats and acts of violence, are addressed without infringing on free speech, protecting civil rights and civil liberties, the right of privacy.”
Bash pushed: “Will American citizens be monitored?”
“No,” he replied. “The board does not have any operational authority or capability.
“What it will do is gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries from the cartels and disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing in addressing this threat for years.”
But Mayorkas conceded the administration could have done a better job communicating how the board will function, noting that it will examine disinformation from Russia, China and the cartels that smuggle people and drugs into the US when any are perceived to be a threat to national security. Critics have blasted the board as a way for the federal government to curtail free speech.
Jankowicz, in her oddball turn as Mary Poppins in the February 2021 video, sang, “Information-laundering is really quite ferocious.
“It’s when a huckster takes some lies and makes them sound precocious, by saying them in Congress or a mainstream outlet, so disinformation’s origins are slightly less atrocious,” she said.
Longtime Republican adviser Karl Rove told Fox News, “What the heck is going on here?
“This is an important board. Its job is to help deal with misinformation being fed into America by foreign actors, both state and non-state actors. And they put in charge of it a political hack.”