Republican Congress members are coming to the defense of top U.S. cybersecurity official Chris Krebs after President Donald Trump made known on Twitter that Krebs was fired from his position.
Trump wrote in a tweet Tuesday evening that Krebs had been “terminated” as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
He accused Krebs of making a “highly inaccurate” statement, when Krebs said there “is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
…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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow. #Protect2020— Chris Krebs (@C_C_Krebs) November 18, 2020
However, Republican lawmakers are rallying behind Krebs, including Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) who told CNN’s Manu Raju that he finds Krebs “real professional.”
Portman said he wished Trump had not fired Krebs, “I think he was very good. I think what he was trying to do in an unprecedented way was to connect with every state in the country, and give them what they needed to protect and have a firewall…against cyberattacks.”
GOP Sen. Rob Portman, a member of Senate Homeland Security, defends the work of Chris Krebs after Trump fired the DHS official for asserting that the elections were secure and fair— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 18, 2020
"I know Chris, I've worked well with him. I think he's a real professional," Portman told me.
“I was on two calls with Chris 10 days before the election with a bipartisan group of senators," Portman recalled. "He was always responsible, and helpful."— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 18, 2020
Portman added: “And it worked very well, and the President should be proud of it… As Chris said, it was the best election yet in keeping the Russians, Iranians and whoever else from trying to hack into the system."— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 18, 2020
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) released a statement after the news of Trump firing Krebs. The senator said Krebs did a “remarkable job” and applauded the CISA’s efforts as being “essential in protecting the 2020 U.S. presidential election against threats of foreign interference.”
Republican lawmakers were not the only ones weighing in. Democratic Congress members also chimed in on Trump firing Krebs, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) who told MSNBC Krebs “should not have been fired.”
"He continued briefing senators together from both parties right up to the election of what was going on with our election infrastructure," Sen. Klobuchar says of fmr. DHS Cybersecurity Chief Chris Krebs. "He should not have been fired." pic.twitter.com/g9kWdhdvKw— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 18, 2020
Whenever folks in CT worried about the integrity of the 2020 election, I would tell them that somehow, someway, Trump had left in place, maybe by accident, actual non-partisan professionals in charge of election security. I was talking about Chris Krebs.https://t.co/pjZxL92jyZ— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 18, 2020
Chris Krebs is a Trump appointee. There was no reason for Krebs to lie when he concluded the elections were secure and fair. @realDonaldTrump fired Krebs for telling the truth. @POTUS can keep firing people, but he can’t change the fact that he lost the presidential election. https://t.co/GA3x8d3UB4— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 18, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also slammed Trump for his decision, writing in a statement, “Instead of rewarding this patriotic service, the President has fired Director Krebs for speaking truth to power and rejecting Trump’s constant campaign of election falsehoods,” as IJR reported.
She added, “The President’s insistence on distracting and dividing the country by denying his defeat in the election undermines our democracy.”
Trump has refused to concede the election since major news outlets declared President-elect Joe Biden the winner, and the president has made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.