U.S. Sen. Angus King has condemned President Donald Trump’s firing of cybersecurity official Chris Krebs, saying that his ouster makes Americans less safe.
Trump fired Krebs — who was the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — on Tuesday, only days after the agency called the 2020 election the “most secure in American history.” Trump said he fired Krebs because that statement was “highly inaccurate.”
Trump has refused to concede the presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden, launching several unsuccessful court challenges to the results and saying the vote was marred by fraud. Election officials across the country have not found evidence of such irregularities.
King — who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee and is co-chair of the cybersecurity-focused Cyberspace Solarium Commission — praised Krebs’ character and performance as head of the agency. He said he hoped that Biden seeks Krebs’ advice during the presidential transition.
“By firing Mr. Krebs for simply doing his job, President Trump is inflicting severe damage on all Americans – who rely on CISA’s defenses, even if they don’t know it,” King said.
Krebs had served as the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency — which is tasked with securing the 2020 elections — since November 2018. Krebs said that he was “honored to serve” and proud of his record in a tweet after the firing on Tuesday night.
As Trump rails against consensus from election officials and news agencies that Biden is the president-elect, he has ousted administration officials he views as inadequately loyal, including firing former Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Nov. 9. King also condemned that firing.
King is reportedly under consideration for the position of director of national intelligence in the Biden administration, though the extent to which he is being considered for the job is unclear. If appointed, he would be the first Mainer in a presidential Cabinet since William Cohen served as defense secretary during the Clinton administration.
On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins condemned Kribs’ firing while speaking to reporters in Washington D.C.
“The president has the right to fire whomever he wishes,” Collins said. “But, I thought this was a terrible mistake and unfair to Mr. Krebs.”
Other members of Maine’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden have not yet commented on Krebs’ firing.