Trump fires Chris Krebs, cybersecurity official who declared election run smoothly

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President Trump announced on Twitter that he fired Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Chris Krebs.

“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,” Mr. Trump said in a pair of tweets on Tuesday evening. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

Twitter attached a label to the tweets announcing Mr. Krebs‘ firing from Mr. Trump that said, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Mr. Trump also said, “The only thing secure about our 2020 Election was that it was virtually impenetrable by foreign powers. On that, the Trump Administration takes great credit. Unfortunately, the Radical Left Democrats, Dominion, and others, were perhaps more successful!”

CISA did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“Honored to serve,” Mr. Krebs tweeted from a personal account. “We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow [sic]. #Protect2020”

Sen. Angus King, Maine independent who sides with Democrats, said of the firing, “Chris Krebs is a dedicated public servant who has helped build up new cyber capabilities in the face of swiftly-evolving dangers. By firing him for doing his job, President Trump is harming all Americans – who rely on CISA’s defenses, even if they don’t know it.”

Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden is reportedly considering selecting Mr. King as his director of national intelligence.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Mr. Krebs in a statement saying he was an expert who worked diligently to safeguard American elections.

“Yet, instead of rewarding this patriotic service, the president has fired Director Krebs for speaking truth to power and rejecting Trump’s constant campaign of election falsehoods,” Mrs. Pelosi said in the statement. “The president’s insistence on distracting and dividing the country by denying his defeat in the election undermines our democracy.”

Mr. Krebs tweeted earlier Tuesday, “On allegations that election systems were manipulated, 59 election security experts all agree, ‘in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.’ #Protect2020”

On Thursday, CISA issued a statement that said no evidence exists that any votes were changed, compromised, deleted, or lost in the November election. The statement called the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.”

The statement asserting the security of the election was attributed by CISA to the elections infrastructure government coordinating council and the election infrastructure sector coordinating committees, which did not identify Mr. Krebs.

CISA has also maintained a “Rumor Control” webpage, where Mr. Krebs and the agency separate what they deem as rumors versus reality. Among the topics listed as “rumors” on the webpage included that votes cast on behalf of dead people were counted in the 2020 election and that changing election results after Election Day was evidence of compromised voting.

Speculation that Mr. Krebs had expected the president may fire him has swirled in Washington for the last week. On Election Day, Mr. Krebs told reporters that the federal government had fought off attacks from foreign actors to interfere in the election.

“We have seen some attempts by foreign actors, Iran and Russia, to attempt to interfere in the 2020 election. We have addressed those threats quickly, comprehensively, and publicly,” Mr. Krebs said at a press conference on Election Day. “We’re not out of the woods yet though. Today, in some sense, is halftime. There may be other events or activities or efforts to interfere and undermine confidence in the election.”

• Dave Boyer contributed to this report

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