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Biden’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ Paused By the Department of Homeland Security, Head Resigns

Published: May 18, 2022
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Boebert held a news conference to discuss "defunding the Homeland Security Department's Disinformation Governance Board.” (Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On May 18, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will be pausing work on its recently convened Disinformation Governance Board — referred to by its opponents as Biden’s “Ministry of Truth” — saying that its work was “grossly and intentionally mischaracterized” and that “false attacks have become a significant distraction.” 

The appointed head of the controversial board, Nina Jankowicz, has resigned. 

The DHS has suspended the board for 75 days pending a review by a bipartisan Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

According to Fox News, a DHS spokesperson said that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, “has requested the HSAC’s final recommendations within 75 days. During the HSAC’s review, the Board will not convene and its work will be paused, but the Department’s critical work across several administrations to address disinformation that threatens the security of our country will continue.”

The White House has been vocal, criticizing the board’s opponents while insisting the board was required and that there was nothing wrong with its goals.

On Wednesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said, “These smears levelled by bad-faith, rightwing actors against a deeply qualified expert and against efforts to better combat human smuggling and domestic terrorism are disgusting, and the administration has forcefully spoken out aginst them repeatedly.”

The “deeply qualified expert” Bates referred to is Nina Jankowicz, a figure who quickly drew the ire of many following the announcement of her appointment as head of the board. 

Benjamin Weingarten, writing for the New York Post characterized Jankowicz as “a serial spewer of untruth,” in an op-ed published on May 12. 

The accusations stem from public statements Jankowicz has made on a variety of issues including statements indicating that the Hunter Biden laptop story was a Russian disinformation campaign.  

On Wednesday, a DHS official defended Jankowicz saying, “There have been gross mischaracterizations of what the board’s work would be. And there have been grotesque personal attacks and the reaction has candidly become a distraction to the department’s important work in addressing disinformation that threatens homeland security.”

Republicans rejoice

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) who led a bill to block the creation of the board posted to Twitter, “When we put pressure on this administration, they fold like a house of cards. The so-called Disinformation Governance Board is done. Hopefully Nina figures out another way to get famous. Watch out for that!”

“Our @HouseGOP bill to defund the board + rightful outrage from Republicans has succeeded,” Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) tweeted. 

Top House Republicans also rejoiced after hearing the news saying it was the Biden Administration’s “best decision.”

In a joint statement to Fox News, John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “The suspension of the DHS Disinformation Governance Board is by far the best decision that’s been made when it comes to this Orwellian entity. From its initially botched rollout, the ‘Ministry of Truth’ lacked a defined mission or even direction,” adding that, “It was clear it was a political tool to be wielded by the party in control.”

“This board was only successful in reinforcing that the Department of Homeland Security’s priorities are severely misplaced. When the border crisis is worsening daily, cyber-attacks from adversaries are threatening to cripple our critical infrastructure, the rise in violent crime is putting Americans across the country in danger, and disrupted supply chains are having devastating impacts on Americans, DHS is focused on policing Americans’ free speech,” Katko and Turner wrote.