GOP senators blast Trump's firing of election security official: 'A terrible mistake'
In a rare case where the ranks were broken, GOP senators on Wednesday harshly criticized President Donald Trump's sacking of Chris Krebs, a senior security official who publicly contradicted his allegations of electoral fraud.
"I thought it was a terrible mistake," said Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine.
Krebs, a political appointee as head of the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity agency, was highly regarded on both sides of the political corridor.
MORE: DHS cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs was fired by President Trump after denying fraud cases
His release came after he tweeted that the 2020 election was "the safest choice in American history."
PHOTO: Christopher Krebs, director of the agency for cybersecurity and infrastructure security, testifies on May 22, 2019 on Capitol Hill. (Carolyn Kaster / AP, FILE)
"I disagree," Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Told reporters. "I think he gave us very good information. He was very professional."
"I was very disappointed to find out that he had been fired," said Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota.
Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, who frequently defends Trump, said while the president has the right to vote his own people, the discharge of cancer "adds to the confusion and chaos".
PHOTO: Senator Ben Sasse speaks during the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Oct. 13, 2020. (Patrick Semansky / AFP via Getty Images)
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse was the first Republican to publicly criticize the president's move in a statement Tuesday evening.
"Chris Krebs did a really good job - as election officials across the country will tell you - and he obviously shouldn't be fired," Sasse said in a statement. "I'm particularly grateful for the work he did on the Cyber Solarium Commission to help the nation prepare for the future of war."
Trump's decision to fire Cancer has been criticized as adding additional suspicion to the election as the president continues to advance unsubstantiated theories that challenge the legitimacy of the November 3rd competition.
"Chris Krebs' most recent statement on the security of the 2020 elections was extremely inaccurate as there were massive inadequacies and fraud ..." Trump tweeted with no evidence. "As a result, Chris Krebs was fired from his position as director of the agency for cybersecurity and infrastructure security with immediate effect."
Twitter has since issued a warning to the tweet, stating that the president's claims are controversial.
Krebs' sacking immediately outraged Democrats, who issued statements Tuesday night defending Cancer's credibility.
"Director Krebs has worked diligently to protect our elections from disruption and misinformation," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Wrote on Twitter. "He protected our democracy. And told power the truth. That is why Trump rejected him and fired him. It is pathetic and predictable of a president who sees the truth as his enemy."
Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also defended cancer, calling it an "exceptional officer." The president fired him "just because he told the truth".
MORE: State officials say they are baffled, offended by false electoral claims
While many Republicans reiterated their standard reply that the president can surround himself with whoever he elects, they gave Cancer glowing reviews, contrary to Trump's claims that he was giving out "highly inaccurate" information.
"He always seems very capable and competent," said Louisiana Senator John Kennedy.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took the same cautious line, saying Cancer "did a skilled job in a difficult and important role" from everything he saw.
PHOTO: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks to reporters after the Senate voted on the budget agreement at the Capitol on Aug. 1, 2019. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Gave Trump the benefit of the doubt, saying his "interactions with cancer have been positive ... I have no criticisms of his work, but maybe the president knows something what I know." Not. '
Krebs' sacking comes less than a week after Trump sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was also criticized by Senate Republican Supreme Leader Mitch McConnell.
MORE: Trump says he's fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
President-elect Joe Biden's team responded to a campaign spokesman's dismissal from Cancer. Cancer "should be commended for his service in protecting our elections, not for establishing the truth," said Michael Gwin.
GOP Senators Blow Up Trump's Sacking An Election Security Officer: "A Terrible Mistake" Originally Posted on abcnews.go.com
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