President Donald Trump ousted Christopher Krebs, the top U.S. cybersecurity official, on Tuesday evening, disagreeing with Krebs’s statement affirming the security of the 2020 election.
Trump, who has refused to accept his loss to Joe Biden in the presidential election earlier this month, said on Twitter that Krebs had been terminated “effective immediately.” Trump said a recent statement by the cyber chief about the security of the election was “highly inaccurate” and claimed, without evidence, 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,” the president wrote. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Krebs, a Trump appointee, had served as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since CISA’s establishment in 2018. Krebs previously helmed CISA’s predecessor agency, the National Protection and Programs Directorate.
CISA put out a statement last Thursday from stakeholders and officials that affirmed that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history” and dispelled assertions that voting systems were in some way compromised, representing an implicit rebuke of assertions by the president and some of his supporters.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the officials emphasized.
A post from what appeared to be Krebs’s personal Twitter account on Tuesday night noted that he was “honored to serve,” adding, “We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow.”
Krebs has served at DHS since 2017. Prior to his time in federal government, he served as the director of cybersecurity policy on Microsoft’s government affairs team. He has focused on issues including shoring up election security and protecting critical infrastructure from attack, among other cyber initiatives.