Former President Donald Trump’s top cybersecurity official testified to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that he believes the former president and Republican officials lied to the public about the 2020 election being “stolen,” a transcript of his testimony released on Thursday shows.
Chris Krebs, who was fired by the now 76-year-old former president in a November 2020 tweet, led the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency during the Trump administration and had called the 2020 presidential election the “the most secure in American history” shortly after the Nov. 3, 2020, contest.
When asked by Jan. 6 committee investigators why polls show a large percentage of Americans believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen, Krebs pinned the blame on Trump and others in his orbit and in the GOP.
“My personal, Chris Krebs, belief that the reason, particularly that that number is much higher skewed in Republican circles, is because Republican officials, senior officials, including the former president, lied to the American people about the security of the 2020 election, that it was stolen,” Krebs told the Jan. 6 panel.
Krebs also recounted his firing in his testimony, and added that he believes Trump sacked him for providing “factual information about the security of the election.”
“Someone sent me a text that said you just got fired on Twitter. And my immediate reaction was like, nah, nah, you’re thinking about — you read that article last week from Natasha Bertrand in Politico. And lo and behold, I pull up Twitter and there it is. 7:05, 7:06 pm,” Krebs recounted of his Nov. 17 termination.
Krebs recalled that he spoke to then acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf after seeing Trump’s tweets and that “he said, oh — something to the effect of, oh, God, that wasn’t supposed to happen like that.”
Krebs said he didn’t recall being told specifically why he was being fired but that “I think it was fairly obvious, and obvious being that, you know, we were providing factual information about the security of the election.”
The testimony from Krebs is part of a slew of documents related to the Jan. 6 select committee that has been released by the panel ahead of the final report by the committee, which will disband at the end of the year.