Christopher Krebs, the head of a cybersecurity task force in charge of helping secure the 2020 presidential election, was fired on Tuesday after publicly debunking a series of election fraud conspiracy theories pushed by President Donald Trump and other Republicans.
Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has been on the receiving end of criticism from Trump since the Nov. 3 election over his agency's Rumor Control blog, which invalidates a list of false conspiracy theories about a "rigged" election, many of which Trump's campaign has touted after losing the election to Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Trump: Krebs Was 'Highly Inaccurate'
Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night to announce Krebs' firing, noting that a statement the cybersecurity official recently put out was "highly inaccurate."
The president was referring to a joint statement issued by CISA, the Election Assistance Commission and groups that represent the chief election officers in every state, stating that there was no evidence to suggest that "any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."
A source familiar with the firing said that Krebs found out about it via Twitter and it was upsetting for him because he took his work seriously.
Shortly after Trump's announcement, Krebs tweeted: "Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow. #Protect2020."
Trump appointed Krebs, a former policy director at Microsoft, director of what is now CISA in 2017, in the wake of Russia's 2016 election interference campaign.
Who Will Replace Krebs?
CISA's chief of staff Emily Early also confirmed Krebs' firing in a statement and said that the President has designated Executive Director Brandon Wales as acting director of the agency.
CISA Deputy Director Matt Travis resigned in the wake of Krebs' firing, a source familiar with the matter revealed. Travis reportedly resigned after being told by the White House that he would not be replacing Krebs at the helm of the CSIA.
Trump's Voter Fraud Conspiracy Theories
Trump has refused to concede the election, maintaining that the election was stolen, making baseless claims about election manipulation and widespread voter fraud.
These range from dead people voting to a conspiracy theory that is centered on Dominion Voting Systems machines switching votes to advantage Biden, as part of a broader push by Trump to undermine confidence in the election system and its results. However, there has been no evidence to substantiate Trump's claims.