President Donald Trump fired the director of a Homeland Security agency tasked with exposing misinformation via tweet on Tuesday, after the misinformation that was exposed hit just a little too close to home.
Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), established a “Rumor Control” page on CISA’s website to debunk disinformation about the election process and results, most of which has come from Trump himself. Krebs said last week that the election “was the most secure in American history,” and that there “is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
Krebs reportedly expected to be fired, and on Tuesday, Trump confirmed his suspicion.
“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud," Trump said in a set of tweets which Twitter labeled as disputed claims. "Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency."
After his firing, Krebs tweeted from his personal account. “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow [sic]. #Protect2020”
Krebs’s deputy, Matt Travis, reportedly resigned after it became obvious he wouldn’t replace Krebs at CISA, according to CNN. Brandon Wales, previously the agency’s number-three official, will reportedly be acting director.
Congressional Democrats slammed the firing. "He’s someone who’s respected on both sides of the aisle," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic former presidential candidate, told MSNBC. "[CISA] did their jobs without fear or favor, and he should not have been fired."
Some Republicans defended Krebs’ record while shying away from directly criticizing Trump for firing him. "Chris Krebs is a dedicated public servant who has done a remarkable job during a challenging time," Sen. Richard Burr, the former Senate Intelligence Committee chair, said in a statement about Krebs’ “departure.”
“[CISA's] efforts were essential in protecting the 2020 U.S. presidential election against threats of foreign interference," Burr added. “I'm grateful for all Chris has done and I wish him the best in his next chapter."