White House press secretary 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.
Republicans have attacked Nina Jankowicz, who was chosen to head the board, as a ‘Russia expert’ and one senator released a video of her singing about ‘misinformation’ to the tune of the Mary Poppins song ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.’
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.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki 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
Republicans have attacked Nina Jankowicz, who was chosen to head the board, as a ‘Russia expert’
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has joined the chorus of critics tearing into Disinformation Governance Board.
‘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
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 COVID restrictions: ‘Lock us down. People are not taking this (COVID) seriously’.
The head of the Biden administration’s new ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ Nina Jankowicz sings about ‘misinformation’ to the tune of Mary Poppins song ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’
‘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.
‘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 Covid 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.’
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.
Anonymous White House reporters suggest they won’t ask Jen Psaki tough questions because they ‘don’t want to look like an a**hole’ and criticizing Sean Spicer under Trump was fine because they were ‘saving democracy’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki‘s aptitude for her job and quick wit make it ‘boring’ for reporters who are trying to squeeze a story out of her during her daily briefings, a new report suggested on Friday.
One journalist complained that ‘jawing’ with Psaki over tough questions made people look like ‘a**holes’ compared to the moral authority many reporters felt in challenging Trump administration officials.
‘Jen [Psaki] is very good at her job, which is unfortunate,’ one unnamed reporter who covered both Trump and Biden told Politico.
‘And the work is a lot less rewarding, because you’re no longer saving democracy from [first Trump Press Secretary] Sean Spicer and his Men’s Wearhouse suit.’
They added, ‘Jawing with Jen just makes you look like an a**hole.’
It’s part of a greater look Politico took at media coverage of Donald Trump versus today’s coverage of President Joe Biden — finding that the later has been a ‘journalistic sedative’ compared to the bombastic and adversarial headlines Trump made with his frequent clashes with the press.
One news executive said there simply was not much interest in the White House anymore, despite reporters’ best efforts.
‘It’s not like there’s a lack of trying — these reporters are there every day to get anything out of the Biden White House,’ the executive said.
‘But it’s boring there, it’s not what it was.’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ‘is very good at her job, which is unfortunate’ one unnamed reporter who covers her daily press briefings confided in Politico
Another executive said Psaki’s daily briefings have failed to catch their interest.
‘I can’t think of any [stars],’ they said according to Friday’s report.
They added, ‘I don’t really watch the briefings.’
An anonymous journalist described covering the Biden administration as ‘difficult’ and ‘boring.’
‘It’s a boring and difficult job. It’s tough to be a White House correspondent if you want to break news, they’re so airtight,’ they said.
‘There’s no Maggie [Haberman]. Who’s the Maggie of the Biden administration? It doesn’t exist,’ they added, referring to the New York Times reporter who was known for breaking numerous scoops on Trump’s White House.
Unlike Trump’s press secretaries, who often saw negative lines of questioning turned into a verbal wrestling match, the Friday report notes that Psaki avoids getting caught in extended entanglements with reporters.
The reporter said covering the White House was less rewarding ‘because you’re no longer saving democracy from [first Trump Press Secretary] Sean Spicer and his Men’s Wearhouse suit’
Symone Sanders, former press secretary to Vice President Kamala Harris, said the Trump administration’s goal ‘was to have an antagonistic relationship with the press corps.’
‘The goal was to attack and antagonize, vilify the press. The Biden team didn’t enter into that White House setting up an adversarial relationship,’ Sanders said.
‘The reason you have not seen these huge clashes that have resulted in the media stars, if you will, is that’s not the goal of the people when you walk into that building.’
She’s also reportedly leaving the administration for a television job at MSNBC, though the White House has not confirmed the matter.
When news of Psaki’s reported job-switch first broke, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim was forced to confront concerned network staffers in the Washington, DC bureau.
The NBC executive told staff who were worried Psaki would tarnish the brand that she would exclusively appear on left-wing channel MSNBC, according to CNN.
Oppenheim has no control over Biden-friendly MSNBC in his role leading NBC News.
Psaki has been forced to answer ethics concerns over how her reported new gig will affect her current role behind the White House briefing podium.
‘There are a range of stringent ethical and legal requirements that are imposed on everybody in this administration and many administrations past about any conversations you’re having with future employers,’ she said earlier this month.
‘That is true of any industry you’re working in. I have abided by those and tried to take steps to go beyond that.’
But she did not confirm or reveal any plans for after her White House tenure was over, instead saying: ‘At whatever time I leave the White House, I can promise you the first thing I am going to do is sleep, and spend time with my three and six year-old, who are my most important audiences of all.
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.