MAINE, USA — U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, reacted to President Trump's firing of Chris Krebs, the man who headed the agency that declared last week voting machines did not lose, delete or change votes in the 2020 election.
The firing of Krebs, a Trump appointee and director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, comes as Trump is refusing to recognize the victory of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden and removing high-level officials seen as insufficiently loyal.
Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Nov. 9, part of a broader shakeup that put Trump loyalists in senior Pentagon positions. King also voiced his criticism over Esper's firing, calling it a "personal vendetta" by Trump that threatens the country's national security.
King is the co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. In a statement, King said:
“Earlier this year, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission issued a nonpartisan report including more than 75 recommendations outlining opportunities for America to improve its national cyber defense posture. Several of these recommendations are focused on expanding the resources and authorities of CISA – because, throughout our year of work, we consistently saw that CISA was among our nation’s most important cyber assets. This success doesn’t happen without Chris Krebs.
“Chris Krebs is an incredibly bright, high-performing, and dedicated public servant, who has helped build up new cyber capabilities in the face of swiftly-evolving dangers. This year’s robust election security and public awareness campaign exceeded our expectations, especially given the unique political and technological challenges. Equally important is the less publicized work CISA has done to protect our nation’s other critical infrastructure assets. We should be empowering Chris and his team to do more, not punishing them for their doing their job.
“By firing Mr. Krebs for simply doing his job, President Trump is inflicting severe damage on all Americans – who rely on CISA’s defenses, even if they don’t know it. If there’s any silver lining in this unjust decision, it’s this: I hope that President-elect Biden will recognize Chris’s contributions, and consult with him as the Biden administration charts the future of this critically important agency.”
In recent days, Krebs has repeatedly pushed back against false claims that the election was tainted. Earlier Tuesday, he tweeted out a report citing 59 election security experts saying there is no credible evidence of computer fraud in the 2020 election outcome.
Trump fired back on Twitter later in the day. He repeated unsubstantiated claims about the vote and wrote “effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Krebs, from his personal Twitter account, responded: “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure [Tomorrow]." He closed with the phrase “Protect 2020,” which had been his agency's slogan ahead of the election