Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, attends the U.S Conference of Mayors’ 88th Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
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The Department of Homeland Security official who’s been debunking false claims of election fraud in real-time thinks he’s about to be fired.
Chris Krebs heads the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which helps protect the vote from hackers attempting to breach election infrastructure. He also established the “Rumor Control” website, which outlined and cleared debunked claims of election interference often pushed by President Donald Trump and his allies, typically through the president’s personal Twitter feed.
On Thursday, his group, which includes top election officials charged with protecting the vote, also declared that the 2020 vote was “the most secure in American history.”
But Krebs now believes Trump will soon fire him, according to three sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters. The White House had reportedly asked Krebs and CISA to delete or edit some of the information on the Rumor Control site, but they refused those requests.
The list of debunked rumors on the site mirrors almost exactly the litany of disinformation being pushed from the White House in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of president-elect Joe Biden’s victory last week.
The one debunking that particularly irked the White House, Reuters reported, was Kreb’s public dismissal of the so-called Hammer and Scorecard conspiracy theory that claims a deep state supercomputer and software program could have been used to change votes nationally.
Krebs had long feared he would be fired after the election, and the forced resignations of two other CISA officials likely only cemented his fear of an impending dismissal. Earlier this week, the White House asked both for the resignations of Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, and Valerie Boyd, international affairs assistant secretary.
The possibility that Krebs could be fired has angered some Democrats.
“Chris Krebs has done a great job protecting our elections,” Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, from Virginia, tweeted on Thursday. “He is one of the few people in this Administration respected by everyone on both sides of the aisle. There is no possible justification to remove him from office. None.”
“Chris Krebs goes to work every day to protect our country from cybersecurity attacks, including our elections,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, from Minnesota, also tweeted. “He’s been honest & straightforward & firing him would be a gut punch to our democracy.”
Despite efforts by Trump and his allies to paint the election as rigged or fraudulent, those responsible for election security announced late on Thursday that there is “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
The statement came from members of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee, which includes officials like Krebs from CISA.
“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” the statement added. “When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”