Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

US ELECTIONS

Trump fires homeland security official for election comments

Chris Krebs had recently disputed the President's unsubstantiated claims that suggested the US presidential election was fraudulent

Chris Krebs, one of the individuals tasked with ensuring the security of US elections, has been fired by US President Donald Trump. US Department of Homeland Security
Chris Krebs, one of the individuals tasked with ensuring the security of US elections, has been fired by US President Donald Trump. US Department of Homeland Security

Chris Krebs, the head of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has been fired by US President Donald Trump.

Mr Krebs had recently made statements disputing Mr Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.

CISA, the group tasked with ensuring the integrity of the US presidential elections from hackers and other unsavoury elements, even went so far as to issue a lengthy statement, contradicting Mr Trump’s claims, for which he has provided no evidence.

“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 finalising the result,” read the statement, issued on November 12.

The statement also contained a section, written in bold typeface, addressing the many claims made by Mr Trump and some of his allies about deleted or lost votes.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised. Other security measures like pre-election testing, state certification of voting equipment, and the US Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) certification of voting equipment help to build additional confidence in the voting systems used in 2020,” the statement continued.

Mr Krebs has also not been shy about expressing his confidence in the integrity of the US presidential election on Twitter.

Mr Trump’s tweets in which he discussed his motivations for terminating Mr Krebs were flagged by Twitter as disputed.

“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,” Mr Trump tweeted without providing evidence.

“...votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,” he continued.

In a follow-up tweet several minutes later, Mr Trump stated that while the 2020 presidential election was “virtually impenetrable by foreign powers”, his administration, and not CISA or Mr Krebs, should be credited.

Despite losing both the popular and electoral college vote in the November 3 US presidential election, Mr Trump has not yet conceded to President-elect Joe Biden.

His administration has also stonewalled efforts by the incoming Biden administration to begin the transition process.

Mr Krebs is the latest official to be terminated by Mr Trump since he lost the election. Most recently, he fired US Defence Secretary Mark Esper.

President-elect Joe Biden will not take office until January 20.

The Biden team has been holding its own meetings with experts and various former officials to prepare for the upcoming transition to the White House due to the Trump administration's reluctance to co-operate.

Updated: November 18, 2020 05:45 AM

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