Sen. Josh Hawley Puts DHS On Notice after MRC Bombshell Revelations

January 18th, 2024 4:09 PM

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) demanded answers from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas following MRC Free Speech America’s bombshell report uncovering how the agency used taxpayer funds to push for censorship of conservatives.

MRC released a report Wednesday exposing how the DHS awarded $700,000 in anti-terrorism grant money to the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab (the “Rhode Island Lab”) to promote censorship and leftist propaganda in America’s classrooms. “This is an outrageous use of federal funds and abuse of power,” Hawley rebuked in a press release detailing his letter to Mayorkas.

As MRC Free Speech America previously reported, the university wielded the grant to train educators to use censorship tools to silence right-leaning views in their classrooms. In addition, the grant was engineered to pay activists to write blog content promoting left-wing propaganda. It even paid students up to $1,000 to make social media posts promoting so-called “media literacy.”

Hawley didn’t pull any punches. “This amounts to the use of government funds to further President Biden’s political agenda,” the senator accused. “All these funds should be clawed back by the federal government immediately, and anyone involved in making this grant should be fired.”  While the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) grant program is intended to target violence and terrorism, Hawley noted in the letter, it was egregiously funding efforts to “counter” conservative voices and opinions.

The senator further pointed to information uncovered by previous MRC research on a DHS TVTP grant to the University of Dayton, which produced the now-notorious “Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization.” The pyramid put Christians, conservatives and Republicans on a radicalization scale that also included militant Nazis. Targeted groups included Breitbart, Christian Broadcasting Network, the Heritage Foundation, and the National Rifle Association.

“There appears to be a pattern of funneling taxpayer dollars through the TVTP program to disparage conservatives,” Hawley criticized. Hawley accused the Biden administration of weaponizing government against free speech and cited Fifth Circuit Court findings in the landmark Missouri v. Biden free speech case. The same case cited research from MRC’s unique database

“Now, we are learning that the Biden Administration has been outsourcing so-called counter-propaganda to private liberal entities,” Hawley wrote in the letter. “You should claw back all funds provided to entities to combat so-called misinformation and ensure this never happens again.” He requested information about DHS/TVTP grants and the entities involved.

The MRC’s latest report exposing the DHS’ antics is the second in a two-part investigation showing how the government weaponized its power to target speech unfavorable to Biden’s leftist political agenda.

MRC revealed in part one how the State Department provided 700 educators with censorship tools like leftist website rating systems from NewsGuard and Ad Fontes to brainwash students against right-leaning news sources. The Rhode Island Lab also hosted a year-long series of State Department seminars in Germany to train teachers to indoctrinate students with  European-style socialist ideas, all at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency and an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.