The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has fired the head of federal agency charged with protecting the 2020 US elections from cyberattacks.
In two tweets, Trump accused Christopher Krebs, director of the agency for cybersecurity and infrastructure security, of making a “highly inaccurate” statement when he said the US elections were conducted flawlessly.
Krebs ran the agency known as CISA from its creation in the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 elections to the November elections.
He has received praise from Democrats and Republicans for running the election, which generally went smoothly, despite lingering fears that foreign hackers might try to undermine the vote.
In the past few days, Cancer has repeatedly pushed back against false claims that the election was tainted. The previous Tuesday, he tweeted a report quoting 59 election security experts that there was no credible evidence of computer fraud in the 2020 election result.
Trump shot back on Twitter later that day. Repeating unsubstantiated allegations about the vote, he wrote, “With immediate effect, Chris Krebs has been fired from his position as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Krebs replied from his personal Twitter account: “It is an honor to serve. We did it right. Defend today, safe Tomrorow. “He closed with the phrase“ Protect 2020 ”, which had been the slogan of his agency before the elections.
Trump accused Krebs, without evidence, of making a “highly inaccurate” statement when he said the US elections were run flawlessly [File: Carlos Barria/Reuters]The layoff is part of the administrative drain as the Republican president was defeated by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden in the November 3 election.
Bryan Ware, CISA’s assistant director of cybersecurity, filed his resignation on Nov. 12. Ware did not provide details, but a US official familiar with the matter told Reuters that the White House had requested Ware’s resignation.
Trump, who has not yet admitted this to Biden, has repeatedly made unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud.
Chris Krebs’ most recent statement on the security of the 2020 elections was extremely inaccurate due to massive inadequacies and fraud – including the voting of the dead, the election of election observers who are not allowed to enter polling stations, “glitches” in the voting machines have changed…
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
The president, who today announced troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq, sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper on November 9 and installed loyalists in top positions in the Pentagon.
Esper was replaced by Christopher Miller, who had been director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center.
The Pentagon has appointed Kash Patel, senior counter-terrorism adviser to the White House National Security Council, as Miller’s chief of staff.
Patel had worked as a top advisor to Rep Devin Nunes, the pro-Trump Republican who chaired the House Intelligence Committee and is now its top minority member.
While working for Nunes, Patel helped create a memo accusing the FBI and Justice Department of bias against Trump.
The Pentagon’s top political advisor also resigned. The post was filled by Anthony Tata, a retired Army Brigadier General who previously referred to former President Barack Obama as a “terrorist leader”.
Tata did not receive a Senate endorsement hearing in August, but has served as Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Defense for Politics.