FILE PHOTO – U.S. Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chris Krebs speaks to reporters at the DHS Election Operations Center and National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired his top cybersecurity official in a tweet that accused Christopher Krebs of making inaccurate statements regarding election security. In addition, Trump stated without evidence that “there were massive improprieties and fraud – including dead people voting.” Officials with Krebs former agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, had no immediate comment.

Krebs said last week that he expected to be fired after he and other members of Trump’s cabinet and a group of election officials called this election “the most secure in American history.” In the two weeks following the election, Krebs’ agency disputed election fraud claims through a “rumor control” site.  

“I’m proud of the work we did at CISA,” Krebs told NBC News on Tuesday night. “I’m proud of the teammates I had at CISA. We did it right.” He found out about his firing via Twitter and responded by saying he was honored to serve, calling on the public to #Protect2020. 

A few Republicans criticized the firing. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said that Krebs did a really good job and obviously should not be fired. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio called Krebs “a real professional,” adding that he was responsible and helpful in calls leading up to the November election.

Democrats praised Krebs for his work and denounced his firing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said he was deeply respected for his work to safeguard local, state and national elections and accused Trump of dividing the country by denying his presidential election defeat. Biden spokesperson Michael Gwin said Krebs should be commended for his service rather than be fired for telling the truth.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Trump Fires Top Election Security Official Who Refuted Baseless Lies About Fraud – Truthout – 11/18/2020
None of the contentions Trump listed in his statement announcing Krebs’s termination hold any water — according to numerous fact-checking websites and court rulings. […] In short, Krebs’s firing appears to have been based entirely on the falsehoods perpetrated by the president and his supporters.

Trump Fires Head of Election Cybersecurity for Refuting His Fraud Claims – National Review – 11/18/2020
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 wrote, an apparent reference to a joint statement released Thursday from CISA and other election officials saying there was “no evidence” that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.

Trump’s Firing of Christopher Krebs Threatens the Security of Future Elections – Slate Magazine – 11/18/2020
Firing Krebs may not be the most damaging or infuriating decision Trump has made during his presidency, but it represents a major setback to one piece of the federal government that was actually working. Slowly but surely, CISA was gradually making progress on something big and important and difficult—progress that will now likely come to a halt until the agency and its leadership can be rebuilt, and the trust they worked so hard to establish with state and local officials can be regained. 

Trump Fires Top Cybersecurity Official Christopher Krebs In A Tweet – Daily Caller – 11/17/2020
Krebs’ termination was expected after his office released a statement Thursday which said that the 2020 elections were “the most secure in American history.” Trump called Krebs’ statement “highly inaccurate,” and said that his termination was effective immediately.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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