Bronx, NY—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, this evening made the following statement:
“I have learned that Michael Pack, the new CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, intends to force out a number of the agency’s career senior leadership tomorrow morning. My fear is that USAGM’s role as an unbiased news organization is in jeopardy under his leadership. USAGM’s mission is ‘to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy’—not to be a mouthpiece for the President in the run up to an election.
“Mr. Pack’s targeting of career experts is part of a trend that we have seen from the very first days of the Trump Administration. At the State Department, Trump appointees have attacked and tried to force out career officials simply because they worked for prior administrations. Trump’s obsession with the myth of a so-called ‘Deep State’ has jeopardized our national security by depriving that agency of untold years of experience, sometimes breaking the law in the process.
“Mr. Pack should immediately reverse course and allow the nonpartisan public servants who run USAGM to keep doing their jobs. And Mr. Pack needs to understand that USAGM is not the Ministry of Information. The law requires that our international broadcasting be independent, unbiased, and targeted toward audiences around the world. USAGM broadcasters are credible only if audiences believe what they’re seeing and hearing is the straight, unvarnished truth. I will use every tool at the Foreign Affairs Committee’s disposal to make sure career employees are protected, the law is followed, and USAGM’s credibility remains intact.”
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