Graham on Krebs firing: ‘That’s the president’s right’

Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:30 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (CBS News/AP) - U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham defended President Donald Trump’s firing of the nation’s top election security official.

Graham said Trump had the right to fire Christopher Krebs, the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“Well, that’s President’s right to do it, but I don’t think there was any interference in our election by foreign powers,” Graham said. “Now there may be some irregularities at the state level, but I believe that this election was secure when it came to foreign influence.”

Krebs, before his firing, released a statement saying the election was “the most secure in American history,” directly contradicting the president. Krebs’s statement also said “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Krebs stood by those assertions after his ouster.

“Honored to serve. We did it right,” he said in a brief statement on Twitter. “Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow.”

He closed with the phrase “Protect 2020,” which had been his agency’s slogan ahead of the election.

Hours before being dismissed, Krebs tweeted out a report citing 59 election security experts saying there is no credible evidence of computer fraud in the 2020 election outcome.

Trump responded on Twitter later in the day, writing, "effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

Copyright 2020 CBS News. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.