President Trump fired Christopher Krebs on Tuesday night, retaliating against his administration’s most senior official responsible for securing the presidential election. Mr. Krebs, who has systematically disputed Mr. Trump’s baseless declarations in recent days that the presidency was stolen from him through fraudulent ballots and mysterious software glitches that changed millions of votes, had worked in the Department of Homeland Security.
The announcement came via Twitter, the same way Mr. Trump fired his defense secretary two weeks ago. Mr. Trump seemed set off by a statement released by Homeland Security late last week, the product of a broad committee overseeing the elections, that declared the 2020 election “was the most secure in American history.”
“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate,” Mr. Trump wrote a little after 7 p.m., “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 votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more.”
The president added that Mr. Krebs “has been terminated” as the director of the Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency, a post to which Mr. Trump himself had appointed him.
Mr. Krebs, 43, a former Microsoft executive, has been hailed in recent days for spending two years preparing states for the challenges of the vote, hardening systems against Russian interference and setting up a “rumor control” website to guard against disinformation.
But much of that disinformation came not from Moscow, but from the White House. Only two weeks ago, on Election Day, Mr. Krebs’s boss, Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, had praised his work, including the “rumor control” effort. But behind-the-scenes efforts by Mr. Wolf and others to keep Mr. Trump from firing Mr. Krebs — another purging of an official for telling the truth rather than hewing to the president’s line — apparently failed.
In a Twitter post shortly after Mr. Trump’s announcement, Mr. Krebs wrote: “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow. #Protect2020.” —