The White House on Friday tried to defend the appointment of Nina Jankowicz by the Department of Homeland Security to lead a new effort to combat disinformation.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki described Jankowicz as an “expert” on “online disinformation.”
“This is a person with extensive qualifications,” she said, recounting her history of writing and testifying to Congress about disinformation.
Psaki indicated, however, that the Department of Homeland Security was ultimately responsible for her hire, noting that “personnel decisions are up to the Department of Homeland Security.”
The DHS announced Wednesday the creation of the new Disinformation Governance Board led by Jankowicz.
But Jankowicz’s long history of promoting online censorship, making partisan statements, and creating TikTok videos resurfaced online, demonstrating some failure by the DHS to properly vet her online public profile.WrockingGirl / YouTube
Despite the creation of the new panel, Psaki claimed it was a “continuation of work” the DHS began under former President Donald Trump’s administration.
When asked about Jankowicz’s job description, Psaki was vague but said it was a “continuation of the work of the former president,” referring to Trump and the department’s efforts to combat misinformation used by smugglers.
“So for anyone who is critical of it, I didn’t hear them being critical of the work of the former president, which is just interesting to note contextually,” she said defensively.
Psaki insisted Jankowicz’s panel would focus on “disinformation,” but also protect “civil liberties” and “the First Amendment.”
The White House was caught off guard by questions about Jankowicz’s appointment, as Psaki appeared to have no information about the new DHS hire and the controversy that has followed.
“I don’t have any information about this individual. I can check on more information about the board,” she told reporters.
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