White House press secretary Jen Psaki skirted a question Monday on whether the new head of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz, will censor news related to Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki if President Joe Biden was aware of the creation of the disinformation governance board.
“This is a continuation of work that was done under the prior administration, under the Trump administration, to take steps to address disinformation, address the use of disinformation in helping smugglers prompt the movement of more migrants to the border,” Psaki responded. “For anyone out there who may be concerned about the increase of migrants to the border, this is the kind of apparatus that’s working to address disinformation.”
Doocy then asked if Biden wants the board to “censor information that’s not helpful to him.”
The “primary mission” of the board “is to establish best practices to ensure that efforts to understand and respond to disinformation are done in ways that protect privacy, civil rights and civil liberties, and the right to free speech,” Psaki said.
Doocy doubled down, saying that Jankowicz has said in the past the Hunter Biden laptop is “Russian disinformation.”
“Should we look forward in the future to her censoring internet traffic about the Hunter Biden laptop?” Doocy asked.
Psaki said that she had already discussed the objective of the board and that Jankowicz has “extensive experience” addressing disinformation.
Psaki made no further comment on the laptop.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the creation of the Disinformation Board on Wednesday to combat misinformation before the 2022 midterm elections.
Mayorkas said Sunday that he could have done a “better job communicating what it does.”
“We address disinformation that presents a security threat to the homeland,” he said. “Disinformation from Russia, from China, from Iran, from the cartels.”
“This is a working group that takes best practices to make sure that in addressing disinformation that presents a threat to the homeland, our work does not infringe on free speech, does not infringe on civil rights, civil liberties. It’s not about speech, it’s about the connectivity to violence,” he added.
He added that the board will focus on foreign misinformation, and will not monitor American citizens, noting, “the board does not have any operational authority or capability.”