WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired Chris Krebs, a top U.S. election official who pushed back against the President’s claims of voter fraud.
Krebs, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said last week he expected to be fired, The Washington Post reported.
Trump announced the dismissal in a series of tweets.
“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 tweeted. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
A committee within CISA, which worked on protecting U.S. voting systems in the 2020 election, released a statement Thursday calling the Nov. 3 elections “the most secure in American history” and contradicting any claims of widespread voter fraud.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the committee members wrote. “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. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”
After the CISA release went public, Krebs retweeted an election law expert who called out Trump for spreading misinformation.
“Please don’t retweet wild and baseless claims about voting machines, even if they’re made by the president. These fantasies have been debunked many times,” wrote David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, the Post reported. Becker added a link to a CISA website called Rumor Control that seeks to correct misinformation about voting in U.S. elections.
Krebs, tweeting from his personal account, said he was “honored to serve” in the DHS.
“We did it right,” Krebs tweeted. “Defend today. Secure tomorrow.”
Trump appointed Krebs, a former policy director at Microsoft, director of what is now CISA in 2017, after Russia’s 2016 election interference campaign, NBC News reported.
One senior official at CISA called Krebs' firing “a sad day” for the agency, NBC News reported.
“Chris didn’t compromise himself or this mission,” the senior official said.
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said Trump was “inflicting severe damage on all Americans."
“If there’s any silver lining in this unjust decision, it’s this: I hope that President-elect Biden will recognize Chris’s contributions, and consult with him as the Biden administration charts the future of this critically important agency," King told The Wall Street Journal.
Cox Media Group