The nation’s top cybersecurity official, Chris Krebs, has led the charge to debunk the flurry of voter fraud conspiracy theories pushed by the president and his supporters. And soon he expects to lose his job over it, according to multiple reports.
As the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Krebs helms the agency’s “Rumour Control” website, which has been fact-checking viral election rumours practically in real-time this past week. He’s also used his personal Twitter to challenge these “merit-free” allegations of voter fraud, as Politico puts it. And of all the ways I’ve seen outlets try to rephrase “blatant lies” in the past four years, that might just be my favourite.
Krebs has told his associates that he expects to be forced out, Reuters reported on Thursday. Three sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that his work on “Rumour Control” has pissed off the Trump administration, as has CISA’s refusal to abide by multiple White House requests to edit or delete accurate information regarding the election. In particular, Trump officials are mad that CISA refuted a conspiracy theory alleging that a covert intelligence agency supercomputer (supposedly named Hammer and Scorecard) quietly flipped votes nationwide, one source said. Unsurprisingly, election officials say no such system exists, and Krebs called the theory “nonsense” in a tweet Tuesday.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time Krebs has landed in President Donald Trump’s crosshairs. The White House personnel office “has wanted to fire Krebs for a while,” according to an official who spoke with Politico on the condition of anonymity.
“He put his head down… and did the country a tremendous service with a laser-like focus on protecting America’s critical infrastructure, including election security. It’s a shame if some inexperienced staffers in the White House blinded by MAGA politics don’t see it that way,” they told the outlet.
Trump has already ousted one top cybersecurity official this week, so he could be going two for two. CISA’s assistant director Bryan Ware confirmed to Reuters on Thursday that he’d handed in his resignation, and sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that he’d been pressured to quit. Several other national security officials have been dismissed or resigned in the wake of Trump’s loss to Democratic challenger Joe Biden, which the president has still yet to concede.
The timing of Krebs’ ouster, which seems practically inevitable at this point, couldn’t be more ironic. A coalition of the nation’s top cybersecurity and elections officials issued a joint statement on Thursday calling this presidential election “the most secure in American history” in response to… well, *gestures vaguely at everything*.
The Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council, both of which fall under the DHS umbrella, reiterated the myriad election security measures used across all 50 states to screen for voter fraud. For instance, in the event of close races, election officials can review paper records of each vote to double-check every last ballot for issues if necessary. The coalition dispelled allegations of widespread voter fraud in no uncertain terms: “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” the committees wrote in Thursday’s statement.