Fired cybersecurity chief: DHS never claimed there was no fraud in 2020 election

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The fired head of the U.S. government’s cybersecurity agency emphasized on Wednesday that he had never claimed there was zero fraud in the 2020 election.

Brian Krebs, the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, sounded off on his personal Twitter account to debunk what he saw as unfounded claims of election shenanigans one day after President Trump announced his firing while complaining about a statement that called this year’s contest the most secure ever.

“Rumor Control: I never claimed there wasn’t fraud in the election, [because] that’s not CISA’s job — it’s a law enforcement matter. We did provide info on measures election officials use to prevent and detect dead voters, tho. Don’t buy it. And think 2x before sharing,” he tweeted.

Last week, CISA and other election groups said that “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised” as Trump pushed claims that the election was rigged in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

The members of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee (which includes CISA’s Assistant Director Bob Kolasky, as well as leaders from the independent U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and others) pushed back against allegations that U.S. voting machines had somehow been tampered with to steer votes from Biden to Trump.

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result,” the joint statement said. “When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary … This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. … Other security measures like pre-election testing, state certification of voting equipment, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s certification of voting equipment help to build additional confidence in the voting systems used in 2020.”

The joint statement followed a viral tweet by Trump that quoted One America News Network, claiming in all caps, “REPORT: DOMINION DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE. DATA ANALYSIS FINDS 221,000 PENNSYLVANIA VOTES SWITCHED FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP TO BIDEN. 941,000 TRUMP VOTES DELETED. STATES USING DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS SWITCHED 435,000 VOTES FROM TRUMP TO BIDEN.”

Dominion Voting Systems pushed back, saying it “categorically denies any claims about any vote switching or alleged software issues with our voting systems.”

CISA and the other election security groups stressed that “while we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections.”

Krebs later tweeted out the joint statement, saying, “TLDR: America, we have confidence in the security of your vote, you should, too.”

Trump responded by firing Krebs on Tuesday.

“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud — including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, ‘glitches’ in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated,” Trump said, adding, “The only thing secure about our 2020 Election was that it was virtually impenetrable by foreign powers.”

Krebs responded to his firing by tweeting, “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow [sic]. #Protect2020.” Krebs was defended by a number of Republicans and a slew of Democrats, though some Trump officials have defended the firing. Krebs’s assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, Brian Ware, resigned on Thursday, and Krebs’s deputy, Matt Travis, also said he was forced out this week. Brandon Wales, a career official, is next in line to be acting director.

A DHS official told the Washington Examiner that “CISA was successful in preventing election interference via a cyberattack on election infrastructure during the president election,” but “election fraud is different than election interference and is beyond the scope of CISA authorities.” The official added, “CISA does not have firsthand information on allegations of voting fraud or investigate such claims, responsibility for which lies with state and local authorities and the Department of Justice. Each state is responsible for the execution of its own elections, not CISA and not the federal government. Allegations of voter fraud are being adjudicated through the court system.”

Krebs released another statement one day after the election, saying that “we have no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies.” Krebs also repeatedly used his Twitter account to attempt to debunk what he saw as unfounded election-related claims and directed his followers to CISA’s “Rumor Control” website.

In the two weeks since Election Day, the Trump campaign has sued several states for alleged irregularities the president has described as a Democratic effort to “steal” the election. The campaign and the White House have not proved these claims.

Biden has a projected 306-to-232 lead over Trump in the Electoral College, and Biden leads Trump by 11,000 votes in Arizona, 33,000 votes in Nevada, 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, and 140,000 votes in Michigan. In Wisconsin, where Biden leads by 20,000 votes, the Trump campaign is seeking a partial recount in heavily-Democratic areas such as Milwaukee and Madison. In Georgia, where a hand recount is underway, Biden leads Trump by 13,000 votes, although thousands of votes were unearthed during the recount process, the majority of which were for Trump, helping the president close the gap a bit.

The Trump legal team is attempting to stop the certification of the election results in a number of states Biden has been projected to win. So far, the courts have rejected the vast majority of the Trump campaign’s legal efforts.

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