U.S. President Donald Trump has sacked on Twitter top cybersecurity official Chris Krebs, accusing him without evidence of making a “highly inaccurate” statement affirming the Nov. 3 election.
Krebs, who had said the election was secure and rejected claims of fraud learnt about his sack on Twitter.
He was not surprised. He anticipated it in discussions with associates last week.
Krebs headed the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) from its inception two years ago.
He angered Trump over a website run by CISA dubbed “Rumor Control,” which debunks misinformation about the election, according to the three people familiar with the matter.
Krebs’ work in protecting the election from hackers and combating disinformation about the vote won praise from lawmakers of both parties as well as state and election officials around the country.
But he drew the ire of Trump and his allies, who were irked over his refusal to support allegations of election meddling.
Trump has made debunked allegations that the election was “rigged” and has refused to concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump said on Twitter that Krebs had assured people in a “highly inaccurate” statement that the election had been secure when there were “massive improprieties and fraud – including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations,” and voting machine errors that flipped votes from Trump to Biden.
Twitter slapped warning labels on Trump’s posts, noting: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Dozens of election security experts on Monday released a letter saying claims of major hacks were unsubstantiated and absurd on their face.
But Trump campaign has filed a flurry of lawsuits in battleground states.
Election officials in both parties have said they see no evidence of serious irregularities.