Republican senators criticize Trump's firing of cybersecurity official Chris Krebs
Several Senate Republicans criticized President Trump's decision Tuesday to fire top cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs in a rare show of disagreement with the president's actions.
Krebs was the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, and his agency had recently issued a statement that the 2020 presidential election was secure. He also stated, "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."
Senator Shelly Moore Capito told reporters that she didn't agree with Mr. Trump's decision, and said she was "appreciative of all [Krebs'] work." Senator Mike Rounds said that he was "very disappointed when I found out that he had been terminated."
Even staunch allies of the president expressed no dissatisfaction with Krebs' performance in the job. Senator Josh Hawley said that Krebs did an "outstanding" job in his role, and Senator Ted Cruz said that "from everything I saw it appeared that he did an able job in in a difficult and important role." Most Republicans also pointed out that presidents have the ability to hire and fire officials at will.
"It's the president's plan prerogative but I think it just adds to the confusion and chaos," Senator John Cornyn told reporters on Wednesday. "And I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like some return to a little bit more of a — I don't even know what's normal anymore."
Mr. Trump fired Krebs by tweet on Tuesday, claiming falsely and with no evidence that a statement from Krebs' CISA calling the 2020 election the most secure in history was "highly inaccurate." The president has refused to concede the election, despite President-elect Joe Biden's projected victory, but legal efforts by Mr. Trump's campaign have so far failed to show any examples of mass fraud.
Krebs' dismissal came after Mr. Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, raising concerns among some in Congress about whether the president was engaging in a purge of officials he deemed to be insufficiently loyal.
Despite their disapproval of Krebs' dismissal, most Republicans in Congress have not yet congratulated Mr. Biden and have largely supported the president's efforts to sow distrust in the outcome of the election.
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