The woman named to lead the Biden administration's newly created Disinformation Governance Board has resigned after it was announced the board would be "paused" following much criticism surrounding her appointment.
Nina Jankowicz, who had been named executive director of the Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Board, announced her resignation Wednesday in a statement, CNN reported.
"With the Board's work paused and its future uncertain ... I have decided to leave DHS to return to my work in the public sphere," Jankowicz said in a statement released through a spokesperson. "It is deeply disappointing that mischaracterizations of the Board became a distraction from the Department's vital work, and indeed, along with recent events globally and nationally, embodies why it is necessary.
"I maintain my commitment to building awareness of disinformation's threats and trust the Department will do the same."
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on April 27 announced that the department was creating a new board designed to counter "misinformation'' related to domestic security.
Republicans immediately took issue with Jankowicz, who had a history of partisan posts on social media that may have, themselves, spread "disinformation," such as calling the New York Post's initial October 2020 story on Hunter Biden's laptop "Russian disinformation, and false."
She also fueled allegations stemming from the since-discredited Steele dossier and has promoted other baseless Trump-Russia collusion claims, the Washington Examiner reported.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., led a group of Republican senators who introduced legislation that would kill the board by prohibiting federal dollars funding it.
Just three weeks after Mayorkas' announcement, the board was being "paused," according to multiple employees at DHS, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The decision followed a few days of uncertainty. DHS on Monday had decided to shut down the board, the Post said, and by Tuesday morning Jankowicz had drafted a resignation letter in response to the board's termination.
However, Jankowicz joined DHS officials on an urgent call Tuesday night. She was given a choice to stay on, even as the department's work was put on hold, the Post said, citing several sources.
The newspaper said that DHS working groups focused on disinformation had been suspended, and the board still could be shut down pending a review from the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
"Nina Jankowicz has been subjected to unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats," a DHS spokesperson told the Post in a statement. "In congressional hearings and in media interviews, the Secretary has repeatedly defended her as eminently qualified and underscored the importance of the Department's disinformation work, and he will continue to do so."
DHS employees and Capitol Hill staffers told the Post that Jankowicz had been set up to fail by an administration that was unsure of its messaging and unprepared to deal with criticism surrounding her.
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