President Trump fired top U.S. cybersecurity official Chris Krebs on Tuesday, days after the agency Krebs led issued a statement that categorically rejected the Trump campaign’s allegations of voter fraud during the 2020 election.
Krebs served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security tasked with protecting the 2020 election from hackers. Trump’s tweet on Krebs’ firing appeared to reference a recent joint statement from CISA and other committees that declared the Nov. 3 election was the “most secure in American history.”
“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud - including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, “glitches” in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Krebs drew Trump’s ire in recent days after he repeatedly debunked claims by the president and his surrogates questioning election security and the validity of voting procedures. CISA has operated a "Rumor Control" blog, which has rejected many of the election fraud claims backed by Trump officials.
The outgoing CISA director told colleagues in recent days that he expected to be fired, according to Reuters.
Trump has refused to concede the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden. His campaign has launched legal challenges in several states, including Pennsylvania, where Trump and his supporters claim Republicans were denied meaningful access to review voting procedures.
The Nov. 12 statement from CISA and several election security committees noted “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” the statement said. “When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”