President Trump on Tuesday fired election cybersecurity official Chris Krebs after he openly dismissed Trump’s claims of fraud in the Nov. 3 election.
Trump announced in a tweet that he terminated Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The president wrote: “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. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
After publicly contradicting Trump’s claims of widespread fraud, Krebs’ fate became a bureaucratic football last week. Two sources told The Post that Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, resisted firing Krebs. As a presidential appointee, Wolf’s participation ultimately was unnecessary in the termination process.
Krebs, a former Microsoft executive, led CISA since 2017 and recently launched a “Rumor Control” website to debunk claims of voter fraud. A CISA panel declared Thursday that the “November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” rejecting Trump’s claims of widespread fraud.
Krebs irked Trump allies even before he refuted claims that election fraud tilted results toward Biden. Foes claim he’s close to former DHS chief of staff Miles Taylor, who recently outed himself as “Anonymous.”
One source told The Post there was internal concern that Krebs employed an appointee of President Barack Obama, Matt Masterson, as his senior adviser for election security.
“Chad was asked by the president to fire Anonymous’ best friend and he’s refusing,” a senior administration official told The Post last week. Taylor did not respond to a request for comment from The Post about whether Krebs is indeed a friend.
Trump allies also noted Krebs’ decision to host an election night gathering at a northern Virginia office building — described by a detractor as a “watch party.” A document reviewed by The Post indicates it was attended by two staffers of Dominion Voting Systems, whose platform miscounted some Michigan votes.
Dominion software’s widespread use across states is a focus of Trump backers claiming fraud. Trump has not conceded the election to President-elect Joe Biden and says litigation and recounts in swing states including Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania will deliver him a second term.
Krebs told associates last week he believed he would be fired, according to reports, and some detractors believed he was trying his best to get terminated — potentially to boost future career opportunities. Some administration officials questioned whether firing him would give him what he wanted.
On Thursday, Krebs retweeted a message urging people not to circulate “wild and baseless claims about voting machines, even if they’re made by the president.”
“Krebs is trying to make himself a resistance hero, obviously,” the senior administration official told The Post.
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