Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas conceded during a Wednesday hearing that he was “not aware” of some of the videos posted on social media by Nina Jankowicz, who was tapped by his department last week to head the Disinformation Governance Board.
Mayorkas fielded questions from a Senate Appropriations subcommittee about the recently-announced board and the decision to appoint Jankowicz to lead it.
KENNEDY: “When the department picked [Nina Jankowicz], was the department aware of her Tik Tok videos? They’re really quite precocious.”
MAYORKAS: “I was not aware of those videos.” pic.twitter.com/eBgbwDMpok
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 4, 2022
“When the department picked [Nina Jankowicz], was the department aware of her Tik Tok videos? They’re really quite precocious,” Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked, referencing now viral videos of Jankowicz singing about disinformation to the tune of the “Mary Poppins” song, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
“I was not aware of those videos,” Mayorkas replied.
The video Kennedy referenced was posted by Jankowicz on February 17, 2021, with the caption, “You can just call me the Mary Poppins of disinformation.”
— Nina Jankowicz 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@wiczipedia) February 17, 2021
Other comments she has made on social media — including referring to the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation — led Republicans and even CNN anchor Dana Bash to question Mayorkas as to whether or not he believes Jankowicz is capable of leading the Disinformation Governance Board without allowing her own personal political views to affect her job.
Bash pressed Mayorkas on the matter on Sunday morning’s broadcast of “State of the Union,” asking him to “guarantee” that the board would not monitor Americans in its efforts to root out disinformation.
Mayorkas: Nina Jankowicz “eminently qualified” to lead disinformation board; “absolutely” neutral politically
Mayorkas also obfuscates on whether he’d support the same effort under Trump pic.twitter.com/9N1d0Pgny0
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 1, 2022
Mayorkas insisted that Jankowicz would “absolutely” be neutral in that position, but did not have a direct answer when Bash countered with a question about whether he would support a similar board being stood up under an administration headed by former President Donald Trump.
“Would you be okay if Donald Trump were president, if he created this disinformation governance board? Or — if it is in place and he wins again in 2024 — that he’s in charge of such a thing?” Bash asked.
Mayorkas evaded the direct question, saying instead, “I believe that this working group, that gathers together best practices, makes sure that our work is coordinated, consistent with those best practices, that we’re safeguarding the right of free speech, that we’re safeguarding civil liberties, I think, is an extraordinarily important endeavor.”