The head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board has an extensive history of promoting baseless Trump-Russia collusion claims from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, including allegations now scrutinized by special counsel John Durham.
Nina Jankowicz has cited Christopher Steele as a disinformation expert, made misleading claims about the funding of his dossier, cast doubt on the Hunter Biden laptop story, downplayed Iranian election meddling, and critiqued the Wuhan, China, lab leak hypothesis.
The Washington Examiner can report she repeatedly shared the debunked claims about Trump-Russia collusion in 2016 and beyond.
“Husband texted me ‘you have news to wake up to.’ Never thought it would be this,” she tweeted on Nov. 1, 2016. “Confirms our worst fears about Trump. I am horrified.”
She was sharing Clinton’s infamous Halloween tweet, which said, ”It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia.”
That included a screenshot with the caption: “Donald Trump has a secret server (Yes, Donald Trump). It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank called Alfa Bank.”
Jankowicz tweeted again that “Trump had not one, but two secret email servers to communicate with influential Russian bank. Unbelievable.” She was sharing a Slate article by Franklin Foer, whom Fusion GPS had been feeding Trump-Russia stories to, according to emails from Durham.
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The FBI, CIA, special counsel Robert Mueller, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, and Durham’s team have all cast doubt on or shot down the Alfa-Bank claims.
Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann has been indicted on charges of concealing his clients, including the Clinton campaign, from the FBI when he pushed the debunked Alfa-Bank allegations.
Jankowicz repeatedly shared other collusion claims throughout 2016, including information sourced from Steele’s discredited dossier. The British ex-spy was hired by Fusion, which had been hired by Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias.
Jankowicz tweeted in September 2016 that “Trump’s Kremlin ties don’t end at Manafort. This is serious people.”
She was responding to a statement by the Clinton campaign about a Yahoo News story in which Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said, “It’s chilling to learn that U.S. intelligence officials are conducting a probe into suspected meetings between Trump’s foreign policy adviser Carter Page and members of Putin’s inner circle.”
The story, written by Michael Isikoff, was titled “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin.” It infamously recounted claims in the Steele dossier, including about Page, and cited Steele as a “Western intelligence source.”
Jankowicz wrote a Wiczipedia Weekly story about the Isikoff article, wherein she talked about Page, saying, “The fact that a man publicly associated with the campaign set up meetings with high-ranking energy and finance officials in Russia while the candidate he served was publicly encouraging the Kremlin to hack U.S. servers is worrisome.”
Mueller “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Page was never charged with wrongdoing.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz criticized the DOJ and FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the FISA warrants against Page and for the bureau’s reliance on the dossier.
That was not nearly the end of it for Jankowicz.
She referenced Clinton’s claims about former President Donald Trump that June and shared a link to a since-deleted Medium post by her featuring a mural of Trump and Putin kissing.
Jankowicz wrote, “Putin’s Russia is not a country that any American voter would seek to emulate. The United States should not elect a demagogue who intends to do exactly that.”
In July, she shared a Foer piece titled “Putin’s Puppet,” tweeting, “But do we want a president that has so many shady and cozy ties with Russia? No. So yeah, this piece is a must-read.”
Jankowicz then tweeted in August, “Manafort not Trump’s only connection to #Russia and #Putin.”
She was sharing a statement from Democratic National Committee national press secretary Mark Paustenbach, who said, “Trump’s campaign still maintains strong ties to Russia and pro-Kremlin elements.”
She also shared a link to a Clinton campaign article, tweeting, “Trump’s bizarre relationship with Russia … Foreign policy matters.”
Jankowicz wrote Nov. 6 that “what started months ago as me making jokes about Donald Trump’s ‘bromance’ with Putin has actually become an existential threat to our country” and talked about “Trump’s connections to the Russian netherworld.” She said that after Trump lost, “we never have to talk about him again (until Putin grants him Russian citizenship).”
Jankowicz tweeted in December, “Trump is Pinocchio, but what if Putin is Geppetto? American people deserve to know, writes Evelyn Farkas,” referencing an Obama official who wrote in Politico that “it is not at all far-fetched to ask whether Trump is indeed the ‘puppet’ Secretary Clinton mockingly named him.”
Farkas claimed that “there are signs the Trump campaign was involved in coordinating this release of hacked information” and pointed to Page. She suggested that Trump’s “Geppetto, the man holding the strings,” might be Putin.
Jankowicz carried on promoting Clinton campaign-sourced Trump-Russia collusion claims in 2017.
She tweeted “Preach” that March when sharing a screenshot and a Washington Post article by Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, which was titled “The Clinton campaign warned you about Russia. But nobody listened to us.”
The article described efforts to push concerns about Trump and Russia at the Democratic convention in 2016 and beyond. The article concluded that “the possibility of collusion between Trump’s allies and Russian intelligence is much more serious than Watergate.”
Michael McFaul, former President Barack Obama’s Russia ambassador, tweeted in March that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) “gives a terrific statement.” Much of Schiff’s remarks consisted of reading discredited dossier allegations into the congressional record, and he mentioned Steele six times.
Jankowicz tweeted in response, “Agree, and more importantly — explains why Congressional investigation into Trump-Russia ties is an integral part of our democracy.”
She was also enthusiastic about former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony in June, quoting Comey and tweeting about “#ComeyDay.”
She quoted him when he said, “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of the meeting.” Jankowicz added, “Our President, y’all.”
The fired FBI director was talking about his decision to write the first of his “Comey memos” following an early January meeting at Trump Tower, where he relayed claims from the dossier to the then president-elect. CNN reported the meeting a few days later, then BuzzFeed published the dossier.
Horowitz condemned Comey over leaking his memos to the press, saying he did so to advance his own interests and spark a special counsel.
Jankowicz also directly cited dossier claims in her 2020 book How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.
“The extent of Russian influence over the U.S. election — and perhaps even the Trump campaign itself — was becoming clearer and more worrisome with each day that passed in the new young year,” Jankowicz wrote of early 2017. “Just a week earlier, BuzzFeed published the explosive and as-of-yet-unverified ‘Steele dossier’ … that alleged the president-elect and his team had deep ties to Russian intelligence services.”
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