Fears Trump Will Use Lame Duck to ‘Settle Scores’ After He Fires Cybersecurity Chief
There are concerns that President Donald Trump will use his remaining months in office to ‘settle scores’ with perceived opponents after his decision to fire Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
CISA was recently among a group of government bodies that issued a statement saying the 2020 election was the most secure in history and that there was no evidence of votes being changed or of the process being compromised. Trump announced the firing on Twitter on Tuesday, though Krebs had told colleagues he expected to be removed.
“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,” Trump wrote, in tweets flagged by Twitter.
…votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
“Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Critics charged that Trump was lashing out because Krebs’ agency had contradicted his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. The Trump campaign is continuing to make these claims and has mounted mostly unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the election results.
“Christopher Krebs is a deeply respected cybersecurity expert who worked diligently to safeguard our elections. Instead of rewarding this patriotic service, the President has fired Director Krebs for speaking truth to power & rejecting Trump’s campaign of election falsehoods,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Some wondered if the president would use the lame duck period to exercise his power against those who believes have wronged him.
Stewing in the WH, the lame duck president just fired a leading cybersecurity official in Chris Krebs who vouched for the security of US election. Trump still has more than two months before he has to go. Two more months to settle scores and potentially cause great damage.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 18, 2020
“Stewing in the WH, the lame duck president just fired a leading cybersecurity official in Chris Krebs who vouched for the security of US election,” tweeted CNN’s Jim Acosta. “Trump still has more than two months before he has to go. Two more months to settle scores and potentially cause great damage.”
Trump will remain in office until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 2o, 2021. In that time, the president will still have the power to fire government officials if he sees fit, as well as issue presidential pardons and make appointments, though these would likely be temporary.