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President Joe Biden’s administration issued several high-ranking officials at broadcaster VOA and the agency that oversees international broadcasting funded by the U.S.. The officials issued by the Biden administration are officials with ties to former President Donald Trump– as reported by the Associated Press.
The move was taken to address concerns that the US Global Media Agency (USAGM) was being used as a propaganda channel for Trump supporters. On Thursday (1/21/2021), it was announced that VOA Director Robert Reilly and his deputy Elizabeth Robibins had been fired from their posts.
UASGM also announced the Head of the Cuban Broadcasting Office, Jeffrey Shapiro resigned from his position. This was done a day after President Joe Biden’s inauguration and demanded that Trump’s elected USAGM CEO Michael Pack resign.
USAGM said Reilly was fired after several weeks in the position. Previously, Reilly had been harshly criticized for pulling VOA Indonesia correspondent Patsy Widakuswara from the White House.
Patsy was relieved of her place in the White House after asking U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a few questions. At the time, Patsy asked if Pompeo regretted having said there would be a second Trump administration after Biden appeared to win the election.
See Also: Joe Biden, President of the United States After Winning the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election
Two officials with knowledge of the matter said Reilly and Robbind exited VOA headquarters under the control of security guards. The officials spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Shapiro, who had just been appointed to focus on Cuban Radio and TV Marti, is known to have resigned at the request of Joe Biden’s administration. Meanwhile, Pack reportedly resigned as CEO of USAGM just hours after joe biden’s inauguration as President of the United States.
Following his resignation, the White House immediately announced USAGM would be led temporarily by VOA’s senior journalist, Kelu Chao. Previously, Pack had shocked the public by taking over the agency in 2020.
In addition, he also removed the board from all broadcast outlets under his control as well as leading individual broadcast networks. His actions drew sharp criticism for threatening the independence of broadcasters under USAGM.