Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has drafted legislation seeking the removal of the "Disinformation Governance Council" in a move to guarantee the absence of federal government in determining the truth for the Americans. The Disinformation Board has its main focus on police disinformation and operates under the Department of Homeland Security.
The main reason for calling of the Disinformation Board's defunding is believed to be DHS planning to counter disinformation from Russia and misinformation spread by 'human smugglers' that assist migrants get across the US-Mexico border via this newly proclaimed Disinformation Governance Board, the Associated Press reports.
Nina Jankowicz is expected to lead the council as the executive director, and she has also served as a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center.
The Republicans were appalled at this new department as they already were a bit wary of censorship after bearing witness to the efforts made by 'big tech's, media and democrats' in killing the New York Post story on Hunter Biden's laptop, Fox news writes.
Boebert expressed her frustration and said that, "no tax dollars should go to where Biden can use the power of the federal government to silence truthful stories like Big Tech did with the Hunter Biden story."
In an interview with Fox News Digital on Friday, she stated "this kind of stuff is terrifying. We in Congress have the power of the purse. It is our duty to shut down this department immediately. I'm calling on leadership in the Republican Party — Leader [Kevin] McCarthy, Whip [Steve] Scalise and others — to join me in calling for this department to be shut down and defunded."
There has been no clear indication from McCarthy on whether he supports the bill or has similar motives as Boebert for the removal of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Boebert compared the government surveillance motion to George Orwell's "1984" novel, saying that "democrats took that [book] not as a warning, but as a guide."
According to the Daily Mail, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also joined the motion, criticizing the Disinformation Board reportedly headed by 'Russian expert', he said in a news release, "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."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the Disinformation Governance Board and Jankowicz, slamming board critics and emphasizing that this effort has its roots in former President Trump's administration. 'This is a continuation of work that began at the Department of Homeland Security in 2020 under former President Trump,' she said.
She added further that the department is well aware of the discussion regarding disinformation, "we know there has been a range of [disinformation] out there about a range of topics, I mean, including COVID for example, and also elections and eligibility."
Describing Jankowicz, Psaki claimed she is "an expert on online disinformation" and clearly pointed out that, "any hiring decisions are up to the Department of Homeland Security, but this is a person with extensive qualifications."
Jankowicz is a self-described 'Russia expert' as she has authored How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict and has done substantial research on Russian misinformation tactics and online harassment in addition to advising the Ukrainian government on strategic communications.
On Wednesday, Jankowicz defended a tweet she made in 2020, doubting the legitimacy of Hunter Biden's laptop scandal, which has reappeared and is becoming the talk of the town, especially among the conservatives.
As the Republicans have targeted her political leanings and accused her of having a bias, 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. '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 defends the original post in a retweet, the Daily Mail reports.
New Twitter owner Elon Musk also stepped into the picture when he called the new 'disinformation' board 'discomforting' as the president tapped a Russia misinformation 'expert' to lead the initiative. His vow to make Twitter a 'safe haven' for free speech has attracted attention from Jankowicz who criticized free speech on the social media platform as 'a negative thing'.
Meanwhile, Boebert stated that, "this really is a department of propaganda, to say that the federal department has a say in what's right and what's wrong. What's truth and what is not. This is a very dangerous place that we've come to." She is on a move to gather more cosponsors for her legislation and has plans to officially introduce it in the coming week.