Trump Fires Homeland Security Official Who Said Election Was Secure

President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(CN) — President Donald Trump has fired a top Homeland Security cybersecurity official days after the agency said it found no evidence that votes were compromised or lost in the presidential election. 

In a pair of tweets, the president — who has fomented unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud and claims he won the election — said Christopher Krebs had distributed “inaccurate” information about the safety of the 2020 presidential race.

“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,” Trump tweeted. 

Krebs, who led the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which spearheaded federal election protection efforts, has been vocal about his confidence that the Nov. 3 election was safe and fair.

Krebs, who led the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which spearheaded federal election protection efforts, has been vocal about his confidence that the Nov. 3 election was safe and fair.

A statement by federal and state election officials that CISA distributed last week said the integrity of U.S. elections was strong and that the general election was the most secure in American history. They said they found no evidence voting systems had changed, lost or deleted votes and that any mistakes could be corrected since states’ paper ballot systems allowed for easy recounting. 

The statement from officials was a standout repudiation of claims advanced by the president’s reelection campaign, including that widespread fraud impacted overall vote totals in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump’s campaign has also filed lawsuits in multiple states claiming issues with vote-by-mail ballots being counted too late, problems with voter signatures and claims of people unlawfully voting.

In Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani sought to pause certification of election results, arguing that officials unfairly reviewed votes depending on whether they were cast in person or by mail.

Biden beat Trump by roughly 74,000 votes in the Keystone State. To trigger a recount, Trump’s campaign would have to find enough votes to bring the president within 0.5% of Biden’s margin of 49.9% votes to Trump’s 48.8%.

Many of the lawsuits filed by Trump’s campaign have already been dismissed, some within hours of being filed. 

Trump’s unsupported claims of voter fraud has also pitted Republican election officials across the U.S. against GOP lawmakers who question election results.

In Georgia, both U.S. senators — who face close runoffs in January against Democrats that could determine control of the Senate — have called on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to resign over unsupported claims of election mismanagement.

Trump administration cabinet members including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said the president has a right to pursue legal action and that the election is far from being finalized.

California congressman Adam Schiff, chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement Tuesday that Krebs and other officials safeguarded elections and provided vital support throughout the country.

“Instead of rewarding this great service, President Trump is retaliating against director Krebs and other officials who did their duty,” Schiff said. “It’s pathetic, but sadly predictable that upholding and protecting our democratic processes would be cause for firing. I want to thank director Krebs and all of the CISA for their service in defending the integrity of our elections, and for rejecting the misinformation and disinformation, even when it was being spread by the president and his allies.”

Tweeting from his personal Twitter account on Tuesday evening, Krebs defended his work at CISA, less than an hour after Trump fired him.

“Honored to serve,” Krebs tweeted. “We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow.”

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