Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who said the US election was “the most secure in American history”, has been fired by President Donald Trump.
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…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
While abrupt, the dismissal of Krebs was hardly surprising and Krebs himself knew it was coming. He had offered a stream of statements and tweets over the past week attesting to the integrity of the presidential election, directly contradicting Trump’s unsubstantiated assertions of widespread fraud without mentioning the president by name.
ICYMI: On allegations that election systems were manipulated, 59 election security experts all agree, “in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.” #Protect2020 https://t.co/Oj6NciYruD
— Chris Krebs #Protect2020 (@CISAKrebs) November 17, 2020
The firing of Krebs, a Trump appointee, comes as Trump is refusing to recognise the victory of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. The dismissal comes after Trump’s firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on 9 November, part of a broader shake-up that put Trump loyalists in senior Pentagon positions.
“Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow,” Krebs wrote on his personal Twitter account. He closed with the phrase “Protect 2020”, which had been his agency’s slogan ahead of the election.
In other election developments:
- In Detroit’s Wanye County, after an initial unprecedented deadlock along partisan lines in which two Republican members voted against certifying the county’s election results, the the Board of Canvassers unanimously voted to certify the results late Tuesday night.
- A hand recount of Georgia’s presidential ballot turned up more than 5,000 previously unreported votes on Monday and Tuesday.
Joe Biden on Tuesday announced nine White House aides, which included senior advisers and counsellors to the administration. Of the nine people named, five were women including Jen O’Malley Dillon, who served as Biden’s campaign manager. She was named Deputy Chief of Staff. Biden had earlier named Ron Klain as his Chief of Staff.
Our White House senior staff is composed of individuals who demonstrate the President-elect’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, has expertise in governing, and will be ready deliver results for working families on Day One.https://t.co/MXnMExXAFp pic.twitter.com/DaWmRI8PRk
— Biden-Harris Presidential Transition (@Transition46) November 17, 2020
- Mike Donilon, who served as Chief Strategist for the Biden-Harris campaign, was named Senior Advisor to the President. Donilon had worked with Biden when he was Vice President to Barack Obama from 2009 to 2016.
- Dana Remus was named the Counsel to the President having served as General Counsel for the Biden-Harris campaign. Previously, she was a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law.
- Anthony Bernal will serve as Senior Advisor to First Lady Dr Jill Biden. Bernal was Deputy Campaign Manager and Chief of Staff to Jill Biden on the Biden-Harris campaign, and had served Biden as the Director of Scheduling during the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign.
- Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon was appointed as Chief of Staff to Dr Jill Biden.
- Steve Ricchetti named Counsellor to the President. Richhetti, the Chairman of the Biden-Harris campaign, has held senior roles on Capitol Hill and the White House, including being Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President.
- Cedric Richmond, Julie Rodriguez and Annie Tomasini were appointed as Senior Advisor to the President, Director of the White House office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Director of Oval Office Operations respectively.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has not publicly recognised Biden as the next President, said there will be an “orderly transfer” between administrations on 20 January.
Meanwhile, Trump has ordered the Pentagon to pull 2500 US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by 15 January, acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller announced on Tuesday. The move will leave 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and 2,500 in Iraq. Trump has continued to bring troops home as promised.