“Firing Christopher Krebs Crosses a Line—Even for Trump”
WIRED, November 17, 2020
By Garrett M. Graff
The president dismissed the widely respected cybersecurity agency director Tuesday night for pushing back against election disinformation.
Within minutes of Donald Trump tweeting that he had fired Christopher Krebs as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency Tuesday night, Twitter slapped on a warning label that the accompanying claim about electoral fraud “is disputed.” The disinformation warning was, in some ways, a fitting denouement to a two-week-long battle between Krebs, the head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and his boss in the Oval Office. Ultimately, Krebs’ mission to protect and defend the November election collided with the president’s refusal to accept its results.
The firing of Krebs marks perhaps the most upsetting moment for democracy since the president’s refusal to accept his election loss two weeks ago. Trump has since spread disinformation wildly and has prevented the government bureaucracy from beginning a normal, peaceful transition. His increasingly quixotic legal battle has seen over a dozen courtroom losses across multiple states.
Krebs did nothing more than tell the truths that Trump is trying to ignore; he was fired for almost literally pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.
About the Author:
Garrett M. Graff is a contributing editor at WIRED and a director at The Aspen Institute. He is the author of the No. 1 national bestseller The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11.
- “Joint Statement from Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council & the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees,” Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, November 12, 2020.
- “Election Infrastructure Subsector – SCC/GCC Joint Statement on the 2020 Election. TLDR: America, we have confidence in the security of your vote, you should, too.” Chris Krebs on Twitter, November 12, 2020.
- “With Trump sabotaging American democracy, the Russians don’t need to interfere,” the Washington Post, opinion, November 20, 2020.