Donald Trump says he has fired a top election official who contradicted the US president’s claims of voter fraud.
President Trump said he “terminated” Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) chief Chris Krebs for his “highly inaccurate” remarks on vote integrity.
Mr Trump has refused to concede the US election, and has made unsubstantiated claims of “massive” voter fraud.
Election officials said the vote was the “most secure” in US history.
Mr Krebs is that the latest official to be dismissed by the US president following his defeat, with Defense Secretary Mark Esper also shown the door amid reports Mr Trump doubted the Pentagon chief’s loyalty.
There is speculation in Washington DC that before Mr Trump leaves office in January, CIA director Gina Haspel and FBI director Christopher Wray could even be for the block .
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Like many others fired by Mr Trump, Mr Krebs reportedly only learned he was out of employment when he saw the president’s tweet on Tuesday.
But following his dismissal, the previous Microsoft executive seemed to haven’t any regrets.
He had run the agency from its inception two years ago within the aftermath of alleged Russian meddling within the 2016 election.
To guard against potential cyber-threats, Cisa works with state and native election officials and therefore the private companies that provide voting systems, while monitoring ballot tabulation and therefore the power system .
Why was Krebs fired?
He had reportedly incurred the White House’s displeasure over a Cisa website called Rumor Control, which debunked election misinformation, much of it amplified by the president himself.
Hours before he was fired, he posted a tweet that seemed to aim at Mr Trump’s allegation that voting machines in various states had switched ballots to Mr Biden.
Mr Krebs tweeted: “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 are unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.’ #Protect2020”.
This post, et al. by Mr Krebs dating back to the top of July this year, appear to possess been deleted from his Twitter account.
He was among senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security who last week declared the three November US election the “most secure in American history”, while rejecting “unfounded claims”.
Though that statement didn’t name Mr Trump, on an equivalent day it had been published Mr Krebs retweeted a Twitter post by an election law expert saying: “Please don’t retweet wild and baseless claims about voting machines, albeit they’re made by the president.”
Mr Krebs’ dismissal brought outrage from Democrats. A spokesman for President-elect Joe Biden said “Chris Krebs should be commended for his service in protecting our elections, not fired for telling the truth”.
As Cisa director, Mr Krebs’ voice carried weight.
His analysis of accusations of mass voter fraud is straightforward to summarise: there’s no evidence of mass voter fraud.
He knew his words would displease President Trump. Last Thursday he told associates he expected to be fired, and he was right.
He was put in an impossible position. Mr Trump said that his statements were inaccurate due to “massive improprieties and fraud” during the election.
But Mr Krebs’ didn’t find that.
Perhaps the president will produce a trove of fabric backing his statements up, but so far he hasn’t found evidence of this either.
Mr Krebs was therefore put during a position nobody wants to be in – appease Donald Trump and say what he wants to listen to – or risk his career by saying things his master would take umbrage to.
He chose the latter, and purchased it together with his job.
What’s the latest with Trump’s legal challenges?
Mr Trump’s campaign and its allies have filed a barrage of lawsuits in battleground states contesting the results, although election officials say no evidence of widespread irregularities has been found.
Time is running out. All outstanding election disputes nationwide must be resolved by 8 December. The official results are set to be confirmed when the US body meets on 14 December.
On Tuesday, Republican members of a bipartisan election board in Michigan refused to certify Mr Biden’s projected win therein state, only to backtrack after an outcry.
The two Republicans on the four-member board had objected to minor voting irregularities in Wayne County, home to Detroit.
But they relented after Democrats accused them of trying to disenfranchise voters within the majority-black city.
As a compromise, the board passed a resolution requesting that Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state conduct an audit of the jurisdictions involved.
Source: BBC News