Dana Bash Grills DHS Secretary on Disinformation Board

CNN’s Dana Bash grilled Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas concerning the position of its newly fashioned Disinformation Governance Board and whether or not it’ll enhance governmental surveillance of U.S. residents, ala George Orwell’s Ministry of Fact in “1984,” as some critics are calling it.

Bash pressed Mayorkas on the matter throughout her “State of the Union” present Sunday, stating how shortly conservatives have denounced it. “Republicans are calling it ‘Orwellian,’” she mentioned. “Can you clarify what exactly is this? What exactly will this disinformation governance board do? Will it monitor American citizens?” she questioned.

“Those criticisms are precisely the opposite of what this small working group within the Department of Homeland Security will do,” Mayorkas answered, although he conceded that “we probably could have done a better job of communicating what it does and does not do.” The official maintained the board’s necessity, reiterating that disinformation from different nations is a “threat to the security of the homeland.” 

Nonetheless, Bash pressed on, asking what the board will truly do and the way it will strategy tackling disinformation. Mayorkas mentioned that the interior working group will “draw from best practices” that don’t infringe on the rights of free speech and privateness.

Bash requested once more if Americans shall be monitored; Mayorkas answered within the damaging. “Can you guarantee that?” Bash continued. Whereas Mayorkas side-stepped a direct reply to the query, he maintained that the board doesn’t have any “operational authority or capability” and as an alternative will simply relay info it gathers to DHS officers who’ve been dealing with safety threats for years. 

Mayorkas additionally defended the appointment of Nina Jankowicz, an creator specializing in disinformation, who he known as an “eminently qualified renowned expert” regardless of Republican complaints that she’s not a “neutral” determine.

Bash shifted gears, questioning if Mayorkas would “be OK if Donald Trump were president if he created this disinformation governance board? Or — if it is in place and he wins again in 2024 — that he’s in charge of such a thing?”

The secretary, circuitously addressing the difficulty introduced up within the query, once more defended the board’s creation and its objectives. “I believe that this working group, that gathers together best practices, makes sure that our work is coordinated, consistent with those best practices, that we’re safeguarding the right of free speech, that we’re safeguarding civil liberties, I think, is an extraordinarily important endeavor,” he concluded.

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