Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday claimed that the new Disinformation Governance Board would not monitor United States citizens.
According to the New York Post, Mayorkas also defended the newly appointed head of the Disinformation Board, Nina Jankowicz, over her ability to suss out disinformation.
Critics have pointed out that Jankowicz denied the credibility of the Hunter Biden laptop story, which has since been verified by The New York Times and other media outlets.
During his appearance on CNN Sunday, Mayorkas praised Jankowicz as a "renowned expert in the field of disinformation" and "eminently qualified" to take up the role.
CNN's Dana Bash in the interview pressed Mayorkas whether the disinformation board would surveil everyday Americans.
"It's still not clear to me how this governance board will act and what will it do," Bash pressed Mayorkas.
"So what it does," Mayorkas responded, "is it works to ensure that the way in which we address threats, the connectivity between threats and acts of violence, are addressed without infringing on free speech, protecting civil rights and civil liberties, the right of privacy."
"Will American citizens be monitored?" Bash asked.
"No," Mayorkas replied. "The board does not have any operational authority or capability.
"What it will do is gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries from the cartels and disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing in addressing this threat for years."
Mayorkas conceded that the Biden administration could have communicated better how the board will function, noting that it will look at disinformation from Russia, China, and the cartels that smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. But critics have since criticized the board as a means for the federal government to curtail free speech.
During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Mayoras again defended Jankowicz, adding that he had no reservations.
"I don't question her objectivity. There are people in the department who have a diverse range of views and they're incredibly dedicated to mission. We're not the opinion police," he told the show's host Bret Baier.
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