WASHINGTON D.C. (Times Media Mexico) – On Tuesday, November 17, Donald Trump fired the Department of Homeland Security official who had rejected the widespread voter fraud claims.
Vía Twitter Trump announced he was firing Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and directly tied it to Krebs’ statement that said: “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud,” Trump said in a tweet that also repeated other baseless conspiracy theories about the election and was flagged by Twitter as “disputed.” “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
…votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
Krebs, who ran the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber arm, actually expected to be fired. A source close to Krebs told CNN he knew he might get in trouble for telling the truth, but realized his dismissal could come soon when media organizations friendly to the President started to attack him.
Krebs learned from Trump’s tweet he had been fired, and responded on Twitter shortly afterward, saying, “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow. #Protect2020.”
Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow. #Protect2020— Chris Krebs (@C_C_Krebs) November 18, 2020
CISA Deputy Director Matt Travis, the No. 2 official at the agency, resigned in the wake of Krebs’ firing, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. Travis left after the White House made clear he would not take the helm at CISA.
In a letter seen by CNN, CISA’s chief of staff Emily Early informed the team that Tuesday was Krebs’ last day with the agency, and said Trump designated Executive Director Brandon Wales as acting director. Wales is a former career chief of staff, and counselor, highly respected by everyone.
Krebs’ dismissal underscores the lengths Trump is willing to punish those who don’t adopt his conspiratorial view of the election.
Since multiple media called the race for President-elect Joe Biden, Trump has refused to accept the results, pushing instead baseless conspiracies that his second term is being stolen. That includes falsely claiming during an election night address that he had already won reelection, that he had won states that were still up in the air at the time, and that his opponents were perpetrating a fraud.
In the lead-up to the election, Krebs had often quietly disputed the President’s repeated false claims about mail-in ballots but went out of his way to not get drawn into criticizing his boss for spreading lies.
In the days that have followed, Mr. Krebs has adopted a more forceful approach, regularly posting on Twitter fact checks of the claims and conspiracy theories being pushed by Trump, his allies, and supporters around the country.
While his pushback at the President’s falsehoods had frustrated some at DHS, Krebs was responsible for a widely praised revamp of the department’s cybersecurity efforts and increasing coordination with state and local governments, as the first director of CISA.
He served as one of the most critical federal national security officials who oversaw an election that went very smoothly by all accounts.
Foreign adversaries were not able to affect any of the votes, CISA said, and it was “the most secure election in American history,” according to them and the broader group of public and private election officials. That was the statement for which the President decided to fire Krebs on Tuesday evening.
News of his dismissal drew quick outrage from elected officials and election security experts.
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