Nina Jankowicz complains Disinfo Board ‘undone’ by ‘disinformation,’ ‘childish attacks’

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After the Disinformation Governance Board announced this week that it would “pause” its operations less than a month after it was created, the former head of the stalled government agency, Nina Jankowicz, appeared on CNN Thursday night to complain about how the board was done in by right-wing disinformation. 

Jankowicz admitted to the irony of the situation.

Her cable news appearance followed a Wednesday Washington Post piece which announced that the Governance Board, a Department of Homeland Security project, would be pausing its operations. The article blamed the “right-wing internet apparatus” and its “coordinated online attacks” for compelling the board’s decisions.

Jankowicz appeared on CNN Tonight with host Laura Coates to vent about the end of her short-lived government appointment. She summed up her situation by telling Coates, “Unfortunately and ironically, we were undone exactly by a disinformation campaign coming from folks who apparently want to put our national security behind their own personal political ambitions.”

Nina Jankowicz complains Disinfo Board ‘undone’ by ‘disinformation,’ ‘childish attacks’

Nina Jankowicz was appointed as the head of the DHS Disinformation Governance Board in April.
(Arkadiusz Warguła/iStock)

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Coates asked Jankowicz the obvious question: “Why was that not anticipated here, in the sense that, did you not expect that there would be some measure or some inclination to try to use misinformation to sow distrust in the same thing you’re trying to do?”

Essentially, the question boiled down to, why didn’t the Disinformation Governance Board stop or find ways to combat this alleged disinformation against it?

Jankowicz answered with an excuse, saying that the board had too many other things going to focus on its mission. “Well, you know, DHS is an extremely large department – 250,000 people work there – the department had other priorities,” she claimed, adding, “It’s got a huge mission set.”

She continued, “And so at the time of the rollout, I think there were other priorities that were kind of put ahead of this rollout of the Disinformation Governance Board.”

Nina Jankowicz complains Disinfo Board ‘undone’ by ‘disinformation,’ ‘childish attacks’

Nina Jankowicz complained about ‘pause’ of Disinfo Board on MSNBC as well.
(Screenshot/MSNBC)

She then blamed others involved with the board for not listening to her direction on the issue, which resulted in its problems. “Unfortunately, the advice that I had given was not heeded about how to communicate – how to communicate openly, transparently and rapidly.”

As a result, she stated, “We created unintentionally an information vacuum that was filled with falsehoods and frankly directed a lot of vitriol and digging into my own personal life that I think was entirely disproportionate to the amount of power I had at the department.”

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Jankowicz mentioned that because of this she and her family “have faced threats every day for the past three weeks.”

The former executive director then scolded the people behind the alleged threats, stating, “I don’t think that that is something that anybody should be priding themselves on.”

She continued, claiming, “And frankly, the lies and falsehoods that were spread about the Disinformation Governance Board, as I said before, this childish behavior is putting the national security of our country behind this sort of partisan vitriol.”

Nina Jankowicz complains Disinfo Board ‘undone’ by ‘disinformation,’ ‘childish attacks’

Nina Jankowicz, the former executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board.
(@wiczipedia Twitter account)

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She explained that our enemies will exploit this “childish behavior,” stating, “And we need to stop that because it’s our adversaries who recognize that that partisanship, that politicization is exactly what they can manipulate and why America is vulnerable to disinformation right now.”

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