The U.S. federal government is one of the main disseminators of disinformation, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Monday, ripping the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Board, which is purportedly intended to target online “misinformation.”
“I don’t trust government to figure out what the truth is,” Paul said on Monday, identifying the government as a source of routine misinformation.
“Government is largely disseminating disinformation,” he added.
I don't trust government to figure out what the truth is. Government is largely disseminating disinformation. https://t.co/GWZqBii8O1
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 9, 2022
Paul’s remarks serve as a follow-up to his clash with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the Biden administration’s board at last week’s Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.
During that line of questioning, Paul grilled Mayorkas on the Steele dossier, asking him if it included Russian disinformation. Mayorkas refused to answer the question.
“Senator, that’s not a question that I’m equipped to answer,” he said, prompting Paul to briefly walk through the Mueller investigation, noting that FBI agents concluded that the dossier was full of Russian disinformation.
“Here’s my question — the FBI concludes that the Steele dossier was full of Russian disinformation. CNN propagated this disinformation gladly for years and years,” Paul said, noting that he would not shut down the organization for “propagating disinformation.”
“The problem you have is you’re not even willing to admit — I mean, we can’t even have an agreement on what the FBI said was disinformation. How do you propose that you’re going to have an office of disinformation governance if you see the problem in even determining what is disinformation,” Paul pressed as Mayorkas claimed their focus is not on “disinformation writ large.”
Paul continued to slam Mayorkas, telling the secretary, “I think you’ve got no idea what disinformation is.”
“And I don’t think the government’s capable of it. Do you know who the greatest propagator of disinformation in the history of the world is? The U.S. government,” Paul said, asking the secretary if he was familiar with McNamara, the Pentagon Papers, George W. Bush and the weapons of mass destruction, and Iran-Contra.
The Kentucky Republican explained that key disputes the public has faced have been worked out through debate — not the by government serving as the arbiter of truth.
“You think the American people are so stupid they need you to tell them what the truth is. You can’t even admit what the truth is with the Steele dossier. I don’t trust government to figure out what the truth is. Government is largely disseminating disinformation,” Paul added, also mentioning the government’s role in attempting to suppress truth surrounding the Chinese coronavirus.
“I’ve said a million times that cloth masks don’t work. YouTube takes me down. They’re a private company. I can have that beef with them. What about you? You going to look at that? I often say that natural immunity from having had the infection is equal to the vaccine or better. You going to take that down?” Paul asked, as Mayorkas said agency staffers “are not the public health experts to make those determinations.” Mayorkas ultimately refused to clearly say if public health would be under the Disinformation Governance Board’s jurisdiction.
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