WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement expressing concern about the creation of a Disinformation Governance Board at the Department of Homeland Security:
“I am deeply concerned by the administration’s decision to create a Disinformation Governance Board at the Department of Homeland Security. As the author of the bipartisan law that established the Global Engagement Center to combat the constantly evolving threat of foreign propaganda and disinformation abroad, I do not believe that the United States government should turn the tools that we have used to assist our allies counter foreign adversaries onto the American people. Our focus should be on bad actors like Russia and China, not our own citizens.
“I look forward to pressing Secretary Mayorkas for answers about the Disinformation Governance Board when he appears before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee next week.”
NOTE: Portman has been a leader in countering propaganda and disinformation. In 2016, Portman and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) wrote and successfully passed legislation tasking the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) with leading U.S. government efforts to counter propaganda and disinformation from countries like Russia and China. The mission of the GEC is to “lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the federal government in countering foreign state and foreign non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts.”