McEnany: Fired cybersecurity chief tried to sabotage election legal challenges
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the top U.S. cybersecurity official, who was abruptly fired by President Trump after defending the integrity of the 2020 election, appeared motivated to discredit the president's legal challenges in battleground states.
Asserting that there is a great deal of evidence of possible misconduct, including hundreds of pages of affidavits in Michigan and "real questions" in Pennsylvania, the chief Trump spokeswoman argued that Chris Krebs, who served as the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, was misleading the public.
"The president has pointed out that he made an inaccurate statement. He actually made a few, if you look at his Twitter feed. But, look, if you say that this was the most secure election in American history, as the president rightly pointed out, that may be true from the standpoint of foreign interference," she said on Wednesday's episode of Fox & Friends before pointing to ballots found in Georgia that had not been included in the initial count.
"So, to come out and say it’s the most secure election in American history, that's just not an accurate statement, and it seems like a partisan attempt to just hit back at the president as he pursues important litigation," McEnany continued.
Last week, the Homeland Security Department agency led by Krebs released a joint statement with some partners and advisers that said that "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” which is contrary to what Trump and his allies claim. They claim that the election was rigged in favor of President-elect Joe Biden, although they have not presented evidence of a widespread plot to overturn the election.
Trump cited the statement, which also stressed that "the Nov. 3rd election was the most secure in American history," in his pair of tweets Tuesday night announcing the firing of Krebs. The president said it was "highly inaccurate." Krebs's second in command, Matt Travis, also reportedly resigned under pressure, leaving career CISA official Brandon Wales to be acting director.
The firing was met with intense backlash, and Krebs was defended by people across the political spectrum.
“Director Krebs is a deeply respected cybersecurity expert who worked diligently to safeguard our elections, support state and local election officials, and dispel dangerous misinformation. Yet, instead of rewarding this patriotic service, the president has fired Director Krebs for speaking truth to power and rejecting Trump’s constant campaign of election falsehoods," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “The president’s insistence on distracting and dividing the country by denying his defeat in the election undermines our democracy."
Still, Trump's supporters have been incensed with Krebs for stepping out of line with what the president and his allies have been arguing in court. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs criticized CISA for failing to disclose in the election security statement that two voting machine companies that have been subject to scrutiny are advisers to the agency.
McEnany was asked if Krebs had a political agenda driving him, which prompted her to explore some possibilities.
"I don’t know if it was a partisan agenda, a personal grievance, what it was. But it definitely seemed to be animated by something, and it seemed to go directly at this president and legitimate claims that he’s pursuing in court," she said.
Steve Doocy, one of the co-hosts of Fox & Friends, then suggested DHS may not have found proof of voter fraud or irregularities,
"Yeah, well, look down in Georgia," McEnany replied. “We have one recount going on right now. Just one. There are others that may or may not happen."