In a pair of tweets published on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced that he “terminated” Chris Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), over a recent statement calling the recent presidential election the most secure in US history.
Trump claimed the statement was “highly inaccurate,” citing instead “massive improprieties and fraud” in an election he lost to Democrat candidate Joe Biden.
…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
A CISA spokesperson was not available for comment; however, Krebs confirmed the firing in a tweet from his personal account.
Prior to being terminated today, Krebs served as CISA Director for exactly two years and one day, since November 16, 2018, when the agency was formally founded.
Rumors that Trump was looking to fire the CISA top official began circulating last week when Krebs told multiple associates that he expected to be fired him following the agency’s efforts to counter voter disinformation campaigns during the recent election.
According to a Reuters report, Krebs got on Trump’s bad side after establishing and running Rumor Control, a web page on the CISA website where CISA experts debunked election fraud rumors, many of which the US president was actively promoting during and after the election as facts on his Twitter account.
Following the Reuters report, several Democrat officials and cyber-security experts came to Krebs’ defense.
Cyberscoop reported that while multiple Republican lawmakers previously lauded Krebs’ work at CISA in previous months, none came to his defense after drawing Trump’s ire.
“Chris Krebs is an extraordinary public servant and exactly the person Americans want protecting the security of our elections,” US Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement today.
“It speaks volumes that the president chose to fire him simply for telling the truth.”