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Trump fires top cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs

Trump fires top election security official
Trump fires top election security official 03:59

President Trump announced on Twitter on Tuesday night that he was firing top cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, whose agency recently issued a statement that the 2020 presidential election was secure. Until now, Krebs was the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Trump claimed, falsely and with no evidence, that a statement from Krebs' CISA calling the 2020 election the most secure in history was "highly inaccurate." Mr. Trump's legal team has failed thus far to present credible evidence of mass fraud, and Joe Biden is the president-elect.

"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," the president tweeted. "Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency."

Mr. Trump's ire was sparked by a statement that declared 2020 the most secure election in history, contradicting the president's baseless conspiracy theories about mass fraud.

"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result," the statement said, adding, "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Soon after he was fired, Krebs tweeted, "Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow [sic]." He updated his Twitter bio to read, "1st Director @CISAgov (former)." Krebs took on the role of CISA director in November 2018, and he was well regarded in the job by both Republicans and Democrats, who both praised Krebs' work and denounced the president for firing him.

"Christopher Krebs got fired because he did his job to protect our elections and stood up to Trump's conspiracy theories," Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted. "This is a disgusting abuse of power by a weak and desperate President who undermines our democracy and national security."

As Krebs saw it, making the nation's elections secure was a pursuit that transcended party. 

"As I look at it, cybersecurity is apolitical," he told CBS News' Major Garrett on "The Takeout" in August. "So, whether it's a Democrat — Democratic secretary of state from California, a Republican secretary of state from Iowa — we work with everybody. And it really has been a great experience over the last three and a half years. We took some lumps during and after 2016, but — we really recommitted to this bipartisan — almost apolitical — partnership of election security and making sure that 2020 is as secure as possible."

Arden Farhi and Romello Oliver contributed to this report.

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