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Biden disinformation board will target conversatives, warns Sen. Blackburn, fmr. Trump intel chief

Richard Grenell speaks at the 2019 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons/Released)
May 17, 2022

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and President Donald Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell warned together this week that the Disinformation Governance Board recently formed by President Joe Biden’s administration will be used to target conservatives who hold dissenting opinions.

In a video call shared exclusively with the Daily Caller, Blackburn said “Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board is a half-veiled attempt to silence dissenting opinions from conservatives.”

Grenell said, “They are calling it disinformation. And what they really mean is dissenting information. That’s what disinformation means, is anything that’s not what the ruling party in government wants you to say.”

The Disinformation Governance Board was formed under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“I’m pretty fearful that this group is going to weaponize government’s power,” Grenell added. “Let’s say you post something this group doesn’t like. Is your ATM card going to work? Are you going to be forced to delete it before you can go forward with, say, your social security check? This is clearly an idea that’s under the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Homeland Security has a lot of government weaponry.”

Given the DHS’s enforcement power, Grenell said it’s not too dramatic to ask what punishments the Disinformation Governance Board may bring about for those who say things they consider to be “disinformation.”

Grenell said he learned throughout his life, the value of listening to what other people are saying. “If you listen to an alternative viewpoint, something that you haven’t been confronted with, you might learn something, you just might have a better argument for your own belief, or you might slightly change your beliefs if you’re just in the mode of listening.”

Grenell said he fears that instead of allowing such conversations to take place, the Disinformation Governance Board and the Democrat Party will “just label any information they don’t like as disinformation.”

Since the Disinformation Governance Board was announced, and Nina Jankowicz was named as its inaugural executive director, her past controversial comments have resurfaced. Jankowicz cast doubts about the New York Post’s controversial October 2020 reporting about the contents of a laptop reportedly belonging to Hunter Biden, though the laptop’s contents have since been authenticated by other news outlets.

In September 2020 amid weeks of riots in Portland, Oregon in which participants set fires in and around police buildings, Jankowicz also said, “Trump talking about how he would ‘put out that fire’ in Portland is the language of authoritarianism. It means the violent clearing of protestors, arrest without cause, abuse of human rights. That’s [not] law enforcement, that’s lawlessness.”

Grennell said he is concerned about the very concept of having a government board to decide what is and isn’t disinformation, but is fearful of what their enforcement powers might be.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has defended the creation of the board and the decision to place Jankowicz in charge. Mayorkas said Jankowicz was “eminently qualified” and could be “absolutely” neutral.

Blackburn agreed with Grenell’s criticisms of the government disinformation office.

“The Biden administration knows their policies are so unpopular with the American people that they feel the only way they can win is to censor what people see and hear and say and think so that they can have control over people, and that really concerns me,” Blackburn said.