Former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Chris Krebs on Sunday emphatically defended the security of the 2020 election in the wake of his firing by President Trump, as the president slammed the report on Twitter and claimed that U.S. election security is an "international joke."
Krebs appeared on CBS News' "60 Minutes" just under two weeks after his unceremonious removal from his job. At the time of the firing, Trump said in a tweet that a claim Krebs made defending America's election security was "highly inaccurate." In that tweet, Trump claimed "that there were massive improprieties and fraud – including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations" and more.
The firing drew immediate backlash from many in Congress, including Republicans, and from Krebs himself, who has repeatedly reiterated in online comments that there is "still no evidence that election systems and votes were manipulated." He doubled down on those claims on Sunday.
"There is no foreign power that is flipping votes. There's no domestic actor flipping votes. I did it right. We did it right. This was a secure election," Krebs said.
He also accused Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, of "undermining democracy" with repeated comments he has made leveling that there was massive vote fraud in several states.
"It was upsetting because what I saw was an apparent attempt to undermine confidence in the election, to confuse people, to scare people," Krebs said of a press conference in which Giuliani appeared alongside lawyer Sidney Powell, who the Trump campaign has since distanced itself from. "And that was, again, to me, a press conference that I just — it didn't make sense. What it was actively doing was undermining democracy. And that's dangerous."
Trump, however, lambasted the news program in a Sunday night tweet and repeated some of his previous claims on mail ballots and Dominion, a company that makes ballot-counting systems.
"[email protected] never asked us for a comment about their ridiculous, one sided story on election security, which is an international joke," Trump said. "Our 2020 Election, from poorly rated Dominion to a Country FLOODED with unaccounted for Mail-In ballots, was probably our least secure EVER!"
Dominion has staunchly defended its systems from claims by the president and his backers. It's denied a wide variety of accusations including that it has ties to foreign countries, that its systems have switched votes, that there were software glitches and more. It's further noted that because its systems tabulate votes on paper ballots, the results can be recounted by hand, as happened in Georgia.
In this May 22, 2019, file photo, Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Trump on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, fired Krebs, the director of the federal agency that vouched for the reliability of the 2020 election. Trump fired Krebs in a tweet, saying his recent statement defending the security of the election was “highly inaccurate.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
"Look, when a voter votes on a Dominion machine, they fill out a ballot on a touch screen. They are given a printed copy which they then give to a local election official for safekeeping. If any electronic interference had taken place, the tally reported electronically would not match the printed ballots. And in every case where we've looked at — in Georgia, all across the country — the printed ballot, the gold standard in election security, has matched the electronic tally," Dominion spokesman Michael Steel said in an interview on "America's News Headquarters."
Krebs also noted the fact that multiple recounts of paper ballots have produced results that were consistent with the initial counts.
"That gives you the ability to prove that there was no malicious algorithm or hacked software that adjusted the tally of the vote, and just look at what happened in Georgia," Krebs said of paper ballots. "Georgia has machines that tabulate the vote. They then held a hand recount and the outcome was consistent with the machine vote."
Krebs added: "That tells you that there was no manipulation of the vote on the machine count side. And so that pretty thoroughly, in my opinion, debunks some of these sensational claims out there… It's nonsense."
There has been some pushback against Krebs from inside the government, however. A senior Department of Homeland Security official told Fox News after his firing that Krebs was "out of his lane" in some of his statements on election security. Specifically, the official said a statement that Krebs put out saying there was no evidence "any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised" was too broad as election fraud claims are adjudicated by local, state and federal law enforcement, not CISA.
Nevertheless, Krebs in the "60 Minutes" interview reiterated that Americans should be confident in the result of the election as legal challenges to election results by the president and his allies continue to flounder in the courts.
"The recounts are consistent with the initial count, and to me, that's further evidence, that's confirmation that the systems used in the 2020 election performed as expected, and the American people should have 100% confidence in their vote," Krebs said.
Fox News' Jake Gibson contributed to this report.
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