The White House is standing by Nina Jankowicz, the embattled disinformation expert named to head the Department of Homeland Security’s now-paused “Disinformation Governance Board,” despite her resignation amid the board’s troubled roll-out.
Ms. Jankowicz, 33, handed in her resignation Wednesday, citing “mischaracterizations” of the work she set out to do at DHS.
Soon after her departure, the White House weighed in with a defense of the board’s work and a defense of Ms. Jancowicz’s expertise and background.
“She has strong credentials and a history of calling out misinformation from both the left and the right,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
Ms. Jean-Pierre also defended the board and its intended role of ensuring that national security officials are updated on how misinformation is affecting the threat environment.
“Neither Nina Jankowicz nor the board have anything to do with censorship or with removing content from anywhere,” she said.
Republicans have seized on past statements from Ms. Jankowicz, including comments that her critics say questioned the underpinnings of free speech, promoted the now-discredited Steele dossier and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Hunter Biden laptop, which has since been verified.
“This person has no business serving in government, much less given a role to monitor information,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said of Ms. Jankowicz last week. “She actively worked and spread misinformation that now has been proven false, and they want to put her in charge.”
Prior to being named as the director of the DHS board, Ms. Jankowicz held the title of “disinformation fellow” at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank.
Ms. Jankowicz told CNN Wednesday that she would return to her work “in the public sphere.”
“It is deeply disappointing that mischaracterizations of the board became a distraction from the department’s vital work, and indeed, along with recent events globally and nationally, embodies why it is necessary.”