While there had been some speculation making the rounds this week, I’ll confess that I was surprised yesterday to learn that President Trump had gone ahead and fired Christopher Krebs, the head of the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Since the President fired him via tweet (though it’s a tweet that no longer seems to exist), we don’t have much to go on as to why Krebs needed to be terminated now beyond a single statement that he made regarding the validity of the recent elections. Krebs had said there “is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” That clearly didn’t sit well with the President. (AP)
President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the federal agency that vouched for the reliability of the 2020 election.
Trump fired Christopher Krebs in a tweet, saying his recent statement defending the security of the election was “highly inaccurate.”
The firing of Krebs, a Trump appointee and director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, comes as Trump is refusing to recognize the victory of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden and removing high-level officials seen as insufficiently loyal.
Krebs had run CISA since shortly after its initial creation in 2016 and Trump appointed him to the position himself. I don’t recall ever hearing any issues regarding his performance or competence until this week. In fact, just to be totally honest, I had to go Google him when this news first showed up. For what it’s worth, Krebs appeared to take the news pretty well.
Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow. #Protect2020
— Chris Krebs (@C_C_Krebs) November 18, 2020
He’s already changed his Twitter profile in line with recent developments. It now reads, “Used to be the 1st Director @CISAgov. Now I’m going to reintroduce myself to my family, fire up the BGE, watch @UVa sports, and ride bikes.”
I’ve got to say that this isn’t a very good look for the President. Krebs’ agency was in charge of maintaining the cybersecurity of the election process. That was his job. We all know by now that there were plenty of isolated incidents of voter fraud taking place, including ballot harvesting and individuals requesting ballots for their dead relatives. But that’s not the sort of thing Krebs was talking about. He clearly seemed to be referring to recurring stories about the Dominion voting machines supposedly fudging massive numbers of ballots in Joe Biden’s favor. But if Trump’s own key person on that matter couldn’t turn up the evidence, where are we supposed to find it?
Assuming that there are no major reversals in multiple states (and I’m sorry to say that’s not looking likely at all, sports fans), Krebs would have probably been out of office shortly after Joe Biden was sworn in anyway. I’ve tried to be as supportive of this president as possible ever since he won the nomination four years ago, but firing Krebs in this fashion just makes him look petty and overreactive.
Donald Trump has made enormous progress for our country in four years on a host of issues that are important to me. I don’t need to list them all yet again here. But if the fates have determined that he’s going to be a one-term president, I would prefer to see him make his exit in a dignified manner and let history be his judge. Booting Krebs (and Esper for that matter) over nothing more than perceived disloyalty in a few public remarks just feeds more ammunition to his detractors who are already seeking to erase all of Trump’s accomplishments from the public record. I know the President is within his rights to handle personnel matters in this fashion, but it’s still disappointing.