‘Honored to Serve. We Did It Right’: Top Cybersecurity Official Fired by Trump via Twitter Responds
- The former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) Chris Krebs was fired by President Donald Trump on Tuesday via Twitter.
- Shortly after, Krebs responded with a tweet of his own from his personal account: “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow. #Protect2020”
- Krebs has received an outpouring of bipartisan praise from lawmakers and from cybersecurity officials abroad.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that “Christopher Krebs got fired because he did his job to protect our elections and stood up to Trump’s conspiracy theories,” echoing the sentiment of many.
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Chris Krebs, the now-former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), responded with a tweet of his own after President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he had been fired.
“Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow. #Protect2020,” Krebs tweeted from his personal Twitter account.
—Chris Krebs (@C_C_Krebs) November 18, 2020
“I’m proud of the work we did at CISA,” Christopher Krebs reiterated to NBC News after the firing. “I’m proud of the teammates I had at CISA. We did it right.”
Krebs had been at odds with the president over the president’s false claims that there was election fraud, which Trump alluded to in his tweets. Last week, CISA announced that there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” contradicting Trump’s repeated unsubstantiated claims, and hours before his termination, Krebs used his CISA Twitter account to again rebut claims about election infrastructure.
Following news of Krebs’ firing, he received a deluge of bipartisan and international support, in part acknowledging the work CISA undertook in safeguarding the US elections.
Biden campaign spokesman Michael Gwin said, “Chris Krebs should be commended for his service in protecting our elections, not fired for telling the truth.” Gwin added that “Bipartisan election officials in the administration itself — and around the country—have made clear that Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud are categorically false.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee, which also oversees federal elections, called Krebs’ firing “a gut punch to our democracy,” in a statement. She added that “To use all caps like our outgoing President likes to do: OUTRAGE.”
In a statement, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said that “President Trump is retaliating against Director Krebs and other officials who did their duty,” adding that “It’s pathetic, but sadly predictable that upholding and protecting our democratic processes would be cause for firing.”
Sen. Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that “Chris Krebs is a dedicated public servant who has helped build up new cyber capabilities in the face of swiftly-evolving dangers. By firing him for doing his job, President Trump is harming all Americans – who rely on CISA’s defenses, even if they don’t know it.”
Senate Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner added that “Chris Krebs is an extraordinary public servant and exactly the person Americans want protecting the security of our elections,” and that “It speaks volumes that the president chose to fire him simply for telling the truth.”
Several GOP members, including former Senate Intelligence chair Richard Burr weighed in on Krebs’ firing, but did not outright criticize it. He praised Krebs and CISA’s work and said “I wish him the best in his next chapter.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, appeared to be one of the first GOP members who has condemned Krebs’ firing, stating that “Krebs did a really good job—as state election officials around the country will tell you—and he obviously should not be fired.”
Across the pond, the founder and former head of the National Cyber Security Centre in the UK, Ciaran Martin, chimed in with international support. “Not seeking to distract attention from the wider issues, but I just want to put on record a tribute to the outstanding service of @CISAKrebs. He’s been the best partner an ally could hope for. People in and beyond are safer online because of his work and leadership.”
According to Reuters, Krebs was bracing for his dismissal after the election, precisely because of his work to communicate the security of US elections.