President Donald Trump has fired Christopher Krebs, who led the election cybersecurity efforts of the federal government, via Twitter.
After the Nov. 3 election on his agency’s Gossip Monitoring site, Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency, or CISA, has been the subject of Trump’s public criticism, which refutes a list of false allegations about election fraud and hacking, many of which Trump or his lawyers have touted as true after he lost the election.
On Tuesday night after the shooting, Krebs told NBC News, “I’m proud of the work we did at CISA.” “The teammates I had at CISA are proud of me. We did it right.”
A source with knowledge of the firing said that Krebs found out about it through Twitter and that since he took the job seriously, it was disturbing for him.
In recent days, multiple sources close to Krebs said it was a matter of when, not if,” that Krebs will be fired.
He was on death watch,” a person close to Krebs said.”
Tuesday night, Trump tweeted that Krebs had released a “highly misleading” statement about the election, apparently a response to a joint statement Thursday by CISA, the Election Assistance Commission and organizations representing chief election officers in every state. There is no proof that any voting system deleted or lost votes, modified votes, or was in any way corrupted,” the statement read in part.”
Trump has consistently said that the election was rigged, but the argument has not been substantiated by any facts and various state and federal agencies have claimed that the election was valid.
Krebs was one of the most outspoken government officials debunking unfounded theories about election fraud, particularly addressing a conspiracy theory that Trump has promoted based on Dominion Voting Systems machines.
Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow. #Protect2020
— Chris Krebs (@C_C_Krebs) November 18, 2020
Krebs defended the use of mail-in ballots before the election, in addition to the rumor control website saying CISA saw little scope for increased fraud as the activity ramped up during the pandemic.
Trump maintained in a subsequent tweet that the election did not suffer from international intervention, but he referred to Dominion Voting Systems again.
“Krebs tweeted shortly after Trump’s announcement: “Honored to serve. We have done everything right.
“Sources close to Krebs wanted him to continue fighting back to the end against the disinformation of the president and not “lay low.
The removal of Krebs not only leaves the door open for the president to nominate someone loyal to his place; it is also an opportunity to take advantage of bad cyber actors,” said a former official of the CSIA’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security.
In the aftermath of Russia’s 2016 election intervention effort and the outgoing Obama administration’s declaration that election systems have become vital infrastructure, Trump named Krebs, a former policy director at Microsoft, director of what is now CISA in 2017.
Although the agency offers security assistance to a variety of sectors such as manufacturing and the energy grid, Krebs had become the face of the cybersecurity campaign efforts of the government, which included monitoring both the election leaders from all 50 states and the wider hacker group.
Both organizations are traditionally suspicious of the federal government, but CISA has been able to make inroads with both under the leadership of Krebs. At the major cybersecurity conferences in the world, he became a fixture and convinced highly regarded hackers to join CISA.
He also won both parties over state election officials, hosting national joint election security walkthroughs and persuading every state to install information-sharing sensors for cyber threats. CISA oversaw an initiative to get at least one person with security clearance in each state, noting that some states were unable to receive intelligence briefings in 2016 because some information about Russia’s activities was classified.
Krebs ‘firing “a sad day for the agency was called by a senior agency official and said he had resisted calls to echo misleading claims.
The senior official said, “Chris didn’t compromise himself or this mission.”
Another CISA official said it was an absolute badge of honor” that Krebs was fired for refuting false claims about the election.
“He ought to be proud,” said the official.
Earlier Tuesday, CISA announced that at two livestream talks held by third parties, Krebs would speak for the agency.
Following Trump’s announcement, many politicians and state officials praised Krebs.
“Michael Gwin, a spokesman for President-elect Biden’s campaign, said, “Chris Krebs should be commended for his service in protecting our elections, not fired for telling the truth. “In the administration itself and around the country, bipartisan election officials have made it clear that the claims of Donald Trump of widespread voter fraud are categorically false and that Trump’s embarrassing refusal to accept that reality lays bare how baseless and desperate his flailing is.”
In an emailed statement, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said Krebs’ firing “is a gut punch to our democracy.”
Director Krebs has been praised at the state and national level by both Republicans and Democrats for protecting the critical infrastructure of our nation, including our election systems,” she said.”
In an emailed statement, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who serves on the Homeland Security Committee and is a member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a joint government agency to develop a comprehensive U.S. cybersecurity approach, said that Krebs “is a public servant of impeccable integrity.”
“Langevin said The failure of the President to accept the election results and his lashing out at those willing to speak the truth about his lies has gone from petulant to downright dangerous.
In an emailed statement, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla stated that the move “leaves our nation weaker.”
“Faced with disinformation campaigns and cyber threats from foreign adversaries, the success of the 2020 General Election is largely due to CISA under the leadership of Chris Krebs. Chris Krebs has been an accessible, reliable partner for election officials across the country and across party lines, as we have strengthened our cyber defenses since 2016,” he said.