Donald Trump fires top DHS official Christopher Krebs


President Donald Trump announced Tuesday evening that he has fired top US security official Christopher Krebs, whose agency declared the presidential election was ‘the most secure in US history’. 

Krebs, who heads the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), oversaw the election’s security effort to fight against foreign interference and fraud.

He was also behind a ‘Rumor Control’ website debunking election misinformation claims.

Trump slammed Krebs for claiming the election was secure arguing ‘there were mass improprieties and fraud.’ 

‘The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate,’ Trump tweeted. Twitter flagged the tweets with a warning saying the claims about election fraud are disputed.

‘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,’ he said. 

‘Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,’ he added.  

The news comes as no surprise as officials had anticipated a purge at the Pentagon following the election result. Krebs had told associates last week that he expected to be fired by the White House, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday evening that he has fired top US security official Christopher Krebs. Krebs heads the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Trump slammed Krebs for claiming the election was secure, arguing 'there were mass improprieties and fraud'

Trump slammed Krebs for claiming the election was secure, arguing ‘there were mass improprieties and fraud’

 

Trump added in his Tuesday night rant: ‘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!’

Kreb’s agency had issued a statement on Thursday declaring the presidential election was fair in a direct rebuke to Trump and his claims that the race was riddled with fraud. 

‘There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,’ the agency said, joined by a coalition of security groups. 

‘All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors.’

While Krebs drew widespread bipartisan praise for his handling of the election, he drew the ire of the Trump White House over a website run by CISA dubbed ‘Rumor Control’, which debunks misinformation about the election, according to the three people familiar with the matter.

Krebs is just the latest Trump administration official to get the boot on the heels of the election.

Last week Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a tweet and replaced him with Christopher Miller, the director of National Counterrorism Center.

Separately, Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, confirmed to Reuters that he had handed in his resignation on Thursday last week. 

Ware told colleagues he is leaving ‘with much sadness…it’s too soon.’ 

The moves come on a week when Trump forced out Defense Secretary Mark Esper

The moves come on a week when Trump forced out Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Krebs has been overseeing the 'rumor control' website, which has been debunking conspiracy theories

Krebs has been overseeing the ‘rumor control’ website, which has been debunking conspiracy theories

On Wednesday, he retweeted a post on technical exploitation of the vote

On Wednesday, he retweeted a post on technical exploitation of the vote

One post noted that 'undervotes' – like ballots with only a vote for president selected – are not uncommon

One post noted that ‘undervotes’ – like ballots with only a vote for president selected – are not uncommon

He also posted to collect 'misinformation' about Wisconsin, which has been called for Biden

He also posted to collect ‘misinformation’ about Wisconsin, which has been called for Biden

The Rumor Control site was designed to take on any foreign misinformation – but ended up contradicting unsubstantiated claims being put forward by the president as he seeks to wipe away Biden’s lead in battleground states. 

Some of Krebs’ tweets reveal why he may have been in hot water with the president’s team.

On Wednesday, he retweeted a writer and academic who wrote: ‘To my knowledge (and this is my field of expertise), no serious evidence has yet been found or presented that suggests that the 2020 election outcome in any state has been altered through technical exploitation. Period.’

He retweeted the Wisconsin Election Commission’s post ‘Correcting Misinformation about Wisconsin’s Election,’ as the president claims without evidence there has been fraud in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and other states he lost. Trump has also attacked the count in Georgia, where he is behind.

President Trump forwarded a 'disputed' claim about election fraud by retweeting a conspiracy theory about voting machines deleting 2.7 million Trump votes

President Trump forwarded a ‘disputed’ claim about election fraud by retweeting a conspiracy theory about voting machines deleting 2.7 million Trump votes

President Trump made the claim of election fraud that Twitter called 'disputed,' after he said election software 'deleted' millions of Trump ballots and caused thousands to be 'switched' from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden

President Trump made the claim of election fraud that Twitter called ‘disputed,’ after he said election software ‘deleted’ millions of Trump ballots and caused thousands to be ‘switched’ from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden

A ‘rumor control update,’ posted between blaring siren updates, talks about ‘robust safety’ that ensures the accuracy of results.

‘New content in our “results accuracy” entry that expands on the controls elex officials use before, during, and after an election to ensure election-related software/hardware aren’t single points of failure,’ Krebs wrote.

The cite has also noted that ‘election integrity measures protect’ against dead people voting – a claim repeatedly put forward by Trump and his supporters.

Amid swirling internet rumors about ballots containing only a vote for Biden, but nothing down the ticket, the site notes that these ‘do not by themselves indicate fraud,’ that that such voting happens every election. 

On Thursday, Trump blasted out unverified claims that 2.7 million votes for Trump were ‘deleted.’ He cited a report from conservative loyalist network OAN. It claimed 241,000 votes were ‘switched’ from Trump to Biden, and that 941,000 were deleted.

 After Fox News commentators talked about a conspiracy theory that a computer named ‘Hammer’ and software called ‘Scorecard’ were ripping votes away from Trump and giving them to Biden, Krebs wrote: ‘This is not a real thing,’ Politico noted in a story that ran a day before Krebs said he was likely to be forced out. 

Officials work on ballots at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Headquarters, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Lawrenceville, near Atlanta. Biden leads in Georgia by 14,000 votes

Officials work on ballots at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Headquarters, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Lawrenceville, near Atlanta. Biden leads in Georgia by 14,000 votes

The claim, however, has been widely debunked in the media and by state election officials who provided explanations of periodic errors in the massive counting process. 

”REPORT: DOMINION DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE. DATA ANALYSIS FINDS 221,000 PENNSYLVANIA VOTES SWITCHED FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP TO BIDEN. 941,000 TRUMP VOTES DELETED. STATES USING DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS SWITCHED 435,000 VOTES FROM TRUMP TO BIDEN,’ read the all-caps missive,’ Trump wrote.

White House officials have asked for content to be edited or removed from the website, which has pushed back against false claims that Democrats are behind a mass election fraud operation. CISA officials have refused to delete accurate information.

Ware is one of several officials who have left national security-related posts since President Donald Trump lost the election to Joe Biden. Trump has yet to concede.

Ware did not provide details, but a U.S. official familiar with his matter said the White House asked for Ware’s resignation earlier this week.

The churn is being closely watched amid concern for the integrity of the transition from Trump to Biden. (Reporting by Christopher Bing. Additional reporting by Raphael Satter in Washington. Editing by Nick Macfie)

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