(CNN)Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas connected Wednesday defended his agency's new moving group dubbed the "Disinformation Governance Board" against disapproval that it would censor oregon analyse escaped speech.
It was the latest effort by the Department of Homeland Security to quell concerns astir the caller initiative, which was announced past week and swiftly prompted Republican objections.
During a Senate appropriations committee proceeding Wednesday, Mayorkas pushed backmost connected assertions that the radical would beryllium "the information police," successful an speech with Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana.
"That is the farthest happening from the truth. We support the information of the homeland, and erstwhile again, let maine to articulate what I person said previously, which is that the moving radical does not person operational capableness and authority," Mayorkas said. "It is to marque definite that determination are policies successful place, standards successful place, to support the precise rights astir which you inquire."
The Disinformation Governance Board, an interagency team, coordinates section activities related to disinformation aimed astatine the US colonisation and infrastructure. Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation adept with acquisition moving connected Ukraine and Russia issues, was tapped to helm the board, on with 2 elder DHS officials, including acting Principal Deputy General Counsel Jen Daskal.
Jankowicz's assignment drew condemnation from GOP lawmakers and right-wing media personalities, who pointed to her past tweets and statements regarding the laptop of President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and Christopher Steele, the writer of the alleged Steele dossier. Jankowicz announced her assignment connected Twitter past week and responded to immoderate of the disapproval regarding a tweet astir Hunter Biden's laptop during a 2020 statesmanlike debate.
"For those who judge this tweet is simply a cardinal to each my views, it is simply a nonstop punctuation from some candidates during the last statesmanlike debate. If you look astatine my timeline, you volition spot I was live-tweeting that evening," she wrote.
Mayorkas has defended the hiring, calling Jankowicz "imminently qualified."
Republicans, including Reps. John Katko of New York and Mike Turner of Ohio, person criticized the committee and sent a missive to Mayorkas raising "serious concerns" with the inaugural nether Jankowicz. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri besides wrote to Mayorkas, arguing the committee is "dangerous and un-American" and calling for it to beryllium dissolved.
On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia expressed interest astir the inaugural and told Mayorkas during the proceeding that "now is simply a bully clip to wantonness this ludicrous and overmuch maligned idea."
The committee is an interior moving radical and doesn't person operational authority, serving alternatively successful a much advisory role. It is besides intended to stitchery champion practices and enactment counter-disinformation activities, not show Americans, Mayorkas said connected CNN's "State of the Union" connected Sunday.