Experts are worried about Trump firing the U.S. head of cybersecurity

Christopher Krebs' oversight helped ensure a secure election process. So of course the President fired him.

Bill Tompkins/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Last night President Trump fired Christoper Krebs, now-former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), via Twitter thread. Krebs has been vocal in correcting Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud — so Trump nixed him from the team.

The final straw in Krebs’ career at the CISA seems to have been a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security last week. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” the statement read, in direct contrast to the Trump campaign’s messaging about voter fraud. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Experts across the board — from government officials to cybersecurity authorities — have voiced concern about Krebs’ firing. Besides the obviously problematic practice of making such an important announcement over social media, Krebs was one of the only loud voices attempting to unify a message against Trump’s misinformation campaign. That’s enough to make anyone worry about his firing.

Trump’s man but not Trump’s work — In the weeks since the election (how has it been weeks already?), Trump has not conceded to President-Elect Joe Biden, instead choosing to spend his time crying voter fraud into the abyss. His post-election lies have been so all-encompassing that those governing the internet have had trouble keeping up with them.

Krebs, having been appointed by Trump to his position just two years ago, would have been expected to fall in line with his Republican coworkers, blindly backing Trump’s claims even if it would bring further harm. But Krebs chose truth over loyalty — and that was enough to put his head firmly on the chopping block.

There’s a reason he was hired — Trump’s questionable taste aside, Krebs was hired to the highest cybersecurity position in the government for a reason: he’s an expert. He and his team have actually been putting the work in to ensure the election process isn’t rigged. Now that extra oversight has been obliterated.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, mourned Krebs’ firing in a statement. “Chris Krebs is an extraordinary public servant and exactly the person Americans want protecting the security of our elections,” he tweeted.

Others noted that, though he’s no longer in his role, Krebs’ work was not for naught. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), for example, tweeted that Trump “can keep firing people, but he can’t change the fact that he lost the presidential election.

Krebs reportedly knew this was coming, but it’s a loss nonetheless. It’s also a staunch reminder that Trump has the power to fire those who hope to bring the truth to light rather than face it himself.