Oversight Board Member Who Upheld Trump Facebook Ban Connected to China’s United Front

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former Attorney General William Barr during a discussion with state attorneys general on protection from social media abuses in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on September 23, 2020. A recent investigation by National Pulse revealed a member of the Facebook Oversight Board, which upheld Trump’s ban, is connected to the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former Attorney General William Barr during a discussion with state attorneys general on protection from social media abuses in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on September 23, 2020. A recent investigation by National Pulse revealed a member of the Facebook Oversight Board, which upheld Trump’s ban, is connected to the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department. (Image: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A member of an independent review panel that recently upheld former President Donald Trump’s Facebook suspension suffers from major conflicts of interest with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) notorious United Front Work Department (UFWD), reveals a recent investigation.

The Facebook Oversight Board recently upheld the ban barring Trump from the social media platform after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, disagreeing with Facebook only on suspension’s lifetime duration. A member of the Board, former Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, was discovered to have delivered a headline speech at a 2017 Beijing event held by a “friendship association” found to be responsible for the UFWD’s foreign influence operations.

The United Front is one of the primary Communist Party organs responsible for conducting foreign political influence operations, intelligence gathering, and suppression and control of overseas dissident movements, working day and night to corrupt not only overseas Chinese communities, but western high value political and economic targets as well. 

Thorning-Schmidt spoke at the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) in Beijing where she told the UFWD organ her charity, Save the Children, had pledged to donate 2 billion dollars between 2017 and 2020 “for the health and nutrition, to guarantee the most poverty and needed women, children and their communities may have equal access to high-quality service of nutrition and sanitation.”

The CPAFFC website for the event noted Save the Children had been working with the Communist Party for many years, “In China, Save the Children had been working together with related government and institutions for years, to bring the most advanced medical technologies to China.”

According to a Hoover Institution report titled China’s Influence & American Interests, CPAFFC is headed by Party princeling Li Xiaolin, daughter of former Chinese President Li Xiannian, who died in 1992. As to the nature of the organization, the report states, “The Friendship Association is effectively the public face of the CCP’s UFWD. It is not covert and, for all the connotations conjured up in its name, it remains avowedly an arm of the party-state.”

The Association, along with many other United Front arms, is reported to be bolstered by Party branches such as the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office merged with the UFWD in March 2018.

In October of 2020 Press Statement, the U.S. Department of State under Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump labelled the CPAFFC as “a Beijing-based organization tasked with co-opting subnational governments” seeking to “malignly influence state and local leaders to promote the PRC’s global agenda.” 

Un-American oversight

Among the 20 Facebook Oversight Board members, only five are American citizens while the remaining 15 are foreign nationals.

Out of the five Americans, only one has Republican leanings – Michael McConnell, Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School. The National Pulse calls McConnell “solidly in the establishment wing of the party.” The four remaining American board members have strong left wing histories:

  • Jamal Greene, Professor at Columbia Law School: He worked as an aide to now-Vice President Kamala Harris in 2019 during the Senate confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, according to Greene’s profile at Columbia.
  • Evelyn Aswad, Professor and Chair at the University of Oklahoma College of Law: In 2013, she participated in the Istanbul Process initiative launched by Hillary Clinton, which was partnered with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
  • John Samples, Vice President of Cato Institute: In a Jan. 2018 podcast with Libertarianism.com, Samples stated that removing Trump from office “because he is the way he is may well be justified.”
  • Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer of PEN America: In a New York Times opinion, she stated that lawmakers are “right to insist that Mr. Trump pay the highest price” for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Muslim Brotherhood ties

Some of the foreign members on the Board also keep troublesome company. For instance, board member Tawakkol Karman, a Nobel laureate, held a senior position in Yemen’s Al-Islah Party, which is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Arab News

Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of risk consultancy Cornerstone Global Associates, told Arab News Karman “has not denounced the extremist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“On the contrary, there is everything to believe that she continues to espouse the hate speech that has been a mark of the Brotherhood in general.”

After receiving her Nobel Prize, Karman was congratulated by Brotherhood leader Yusuf Al-Qaradawi who is on record encouraging suicide bombings and praising Hitler for “punishing” Jewish people.

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