Director of DHS cyber agency expecting ouster

Director of DHS cyber agency expecting ouster
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The top U.S. cybersecurity official, Christopher Krebs, believes he will be fired by the White House, a source involved in cyber policy confirmed to The Hill.

Reuters first reported that Krebs had told associates he expects to be fired, with the outlet citing three unnamed associates.

Krebs has served as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) since its establishment in 2018, and has been a key leader on issues including election security.


CISA posted a “rumor control” page ahead of the general election in order to combat misinformation and disinformation, which has spiked following the contentious presidential election. The website has rebutted conspiracy theories about voter fraud that have been promoted by some Trump supporters.

Krebs has tweeted out updates to the page over the past week, reportedly drawing concerns from the White House. 

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOn The Money: Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds | Trump tells Republicans to walk away | GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, strongly defended Krebs on Thursday.

“Chris Krebs has done a great job protecting our elections,” Warner tweeted. “He is one of the few people in this Administration respected by everyone on both sides of the aisle. There is no possible justification to remove him from office. None."

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (D-Ore.), another member of the Intelligence panel, also voiced his support for Krebs.


“Under Chris Krebs’ leadership, CISA has been a trusted source of election security information,” Wyden tweeted. “If Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE fires him, it will suggest Trump is preparing to spread lies about the election from a government agency."

The White House did not offer comment, and a spokesperson for acting Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden Bipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks MORE (R-Fla.) did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Krebs’s potential ouster would leave a tremendous leadership vacuum at DHS and would leave the top government cybersecurity role vacant at a critical moment. 

Should Krebs be forced to step down, his role would likely be filled by CISA Deputy Director Matthew Travis, who has served in the deputy director position since 2018. 

Earlier Thursday, news broke that Bryan Ware, another top official at CISA, planned to step down at the end of the week, with Reuters reporting that he was asked to resign by the White House earlier this week.

CNN reported that Ware and another DHS official, Valerie Boyd, were forced to resign due to pressure from the White House. The developments come in the wake of the election, and after Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE was declared the winner of the presidential race.

Trump has also executed a shakeup of top leadership at the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war The Biden administration and Tunisia: Off to a good start Overnight Defense: Navy pulls plug on 0 million railgun effort | Esper defends Milley after Trump attacks | Navy vet charged in Jan. 6 riot wants trial moved MORE was ousted this week and replaced with a top counterterrorism official, Christopher Miller. Three other officials serving in leadership positions at the Pentagon have also been replaced with individuals loyal to Trump. 

There has also been talk that Trump could move to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray or CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Biden announces veteran diplomat William Burns as nominee for CIA director Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE, the latter of whom received an outpouring of support from Republican senators this week.

Updated: 4:58 p.m.