Chris Krebs explains why President Trump’s claims about election intervention are false


Even though the transition has begun, President Trump remains largely punched in the White House and making false accusations about the election behind the snare wall. No legal challenge, no recalculation, no audit has changed the result in any state. Mr. Trump’s claim that millions of votes were canceled or exchanged is denied by the official he elected to secure the nation’s electoral systems. Christopher Krebs called the 2020 vote “the safest in American history,” which fired him immediately. In his first interview tonight, since his dismissal, Krebs tells us why he thinks the vote was accurate and why they say otherwise about the danger to the country.

Chris Krebs: I trust election security because I know the work we have been doing for four years to support our state and local partners. I know the work that the intelligence community has done, the Department of Defense, the FBI, my team. I know these systems are more secure. From what I have seen, I know that the election attacks were not successful.

Two years ago, President Trump commissioned Christopher Krebs to lead the new cyber security and infrastructure security agency. The lifelong Republican Krebs was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

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Chris Krebs

Its agency, known as its acronym, “CISA,” helps ensure the security of computer systems wherever security breaches can be catastrophic, such as nuclear power plants and the election hardware of all 50 states.

Scott Pelley: Why are you talking to us?

Chris Krebs: I’m no longer a civil servant, but I feel like I still have a little civil service left. And, you know, it’s hard to take the oath to uphold and protect the constitution from foreign and domestic threats, it’s hard to leave. And if I can confirm or confirm to a person that the vote was safe, the election was safe, then I feel like I have done my job.

Krebs, 43, who worked in cyber security under the Bush administration, became director of cybersecurity policy at Microsoft and joined Trump’s Department of Homeland Security in 2017. His main goal was to prevent anyone from repeating Russia’s 2016 election hacking and disinformation.

Chris Krebs: So we spent an order of magnitude of three and a half years playing through every possible scenario of how a foreign actor could intervene in an election. Countless, countless scenarios.

Scott Pelley: So back in 2017, when he expects the 2018 election and then the 2020 election, he has a to-do list. And what does the to-do list contain?

Chris Krebs: Paper ballots. Paper slips allow you to audit, go back, check the tape, and perform the calculation correctly. And that is truly one of the keys to the success of the 2020 secure elections. 95% of the votes cast in the 2020 elections will have a paper record. Compared to 2016, it is about 82%.

Scott Pelley: And with a sheet of paper, you can go back and physically count what the machine says?

Chris Krebs: This allows us to prove that there was no malicious algorithm or hacked software that would have changed the total value of the vote and just look at what happened in Georgia. Georgia has machines that table the vote. A manual recount was then held and the result was in line with the machine vote.

Scott Pelley: And that tells you what?

Chris Krebs: That tells you that there was no manipulation of the vote on the machine counting side. And that, in my opinion, these sensational claims are being destroyed quite thoroughly – what I called nonsense and false news that these election vendors, their software and systems were hacked all over the country. This is … just … stupid.

Ahead of the election, as the president called the mail a fraud, Krebs ’team released a report highlighting the built-in safeguards for the postal vote. His agency overturned rumors and exposed an Iranian act to intimidate voters. On election day, Krebs assembled a team at his command center to defend the vote.

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Krebs in the oval office with President Trump. Mr Trump commissioned Krebs with the Election Security Agency two years ago.

Chris Krebs: I had the Department of Defense’s Cyber ​​Command. There was the National Security Agency. There was the FBI. There was the Secret Service. We also had representatives from the Electoral Assistance Committee, which is the federal independent agency that supports the actual conduct of elections. We had representatives from —-, manufacturers of election equipment. And they are critical because they know what happens on the spot if there is a problem with some of their systems. We had representatives from state and local governments.

Scott Pelley: How was the day?

Chris Krebs: It was quiet. There is no indication that there was any hacking or compromise about the electoral systems before, after or after November 3rd.

And yet, it was the president, November 5.

President Trump on Nov. 5: And this is the case where they try to steal an election, they try to trick an election.

Nine days after election day, Mr. Trump falsely tweeted that Dominion Voting Systems machines canceled millions of votes. Krebs could not remain silent. His agency and his election security partners responded with a public statement.

Scott Pelley: Quoted from a November 12 statement from CISA and its partners: “The November 3 election was the safest in American history. There is no evidence that any voting system has canceled or lost its votes, altered its votes in a compromised way. . “

Chris Krebs: Yeah, I stand for that.

Scott Pelley: The president quoted this statement as follows: “Chris Krebs’ recent statement on the security of the 2020 elections was very inaccurate as there were huge violations and frauds.” Remember what the president said at the end of the tweet?

Chris Krebs: Oh, did I resign? Yes Yes. I remember that.

Scott Pelley: Were you surprised?

Chris Krebs: I don’t know if I’m necessarily surprised. That’s not how I wanted to go. I think what annoys me the most is that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my team. And I worked with them for three and a half years in the ditch. Building an agency, putting CISA on the national stage. And I love that team. And I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye, so that annoys me the most.

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Since his dismissal, about a dozen Republican senators have vouched for Krebs ’work.

Scott Pelley: The president is essentially saying in a tweet that he did a poor job of being blown by you and his team and allowed for huge fraud across the country.

Chris Krebs: We did a good job. We did well. I would do it a thousand times.

Nevertheless, the president’s lawyers filed at least a dozen lawsuits and suspected the guesswork without evidence.

Rudy Giuliani on November 19: And you should be more surprised by the fact that our votes are counted in Germany and Spain …

Scott Pelley: As you watched Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at the Republican National Commission headquarters, what did you think?

Chris Krebs: It was upset because what I saw was the obvious attempt to undermine confidence in the election, to confuse people, to scare people. It’s not me, not just CISA. There were tens of thousands of election workers there who had been working 18-hour days continuously for months. They are facing death threats for trying to carry out one of our most important democratic institutions, an election. And it was a press conference for me again, which just … didn’t make sense. What he did actively undermines democracy. And it’s dangerous.

Scott Pelley: Let me ask for a reaction to some of the voting frauds alleged by the president and his team. Votes recorded abroad.

Chris Krebs: So in the United States, all votes count in the United States. No … I don’t understand that statement. All votes in the United States are counted by the United States. Period.

Scott Pelley: Voting machines spoiled by Venezuela’s mysterious actors.

Chris Krebs: So again, there is no evidence that any machine I know has been manipulated by foreign power. Period.

Scott Pelley: Communist money from China and Cuba influenced the election.

Chris Krebs: Look, I think these are – we can go on and on all the wolf claims – that refer to intervening in the 2020 elections, but the evidence is in the ballot papers. The recount is in line with the original count, and for me it is further evidence that confirms that the systems used in the 2020 elections worked as expected and that the American people must have 100% confidence in their vote.

Scott Pelley: At a news conference, Sidney Powell, a lawyer representing the then president, said Dominion Company’s voting machines were quoting

Sidney Powell on Nov. 19: You can set up and run an algorithm that probably ran across the country to take a certain percentage of the votes from President Trump and turn them over to President Biden.

Chris Krebs: Votes were cast in Georgia, for example, on paper. They were counted by a machine. They were then told by hand. The results of this counting were consistent. If there was an algorithm that reversed the votes or changed the votes, it didn’t work. I think the more likely explanation is that there is no algorithm that the systems worked as intended. That a series of pre-, post-election and post-election security checks protected these systems from all kinds of misconduct.

Most elections are conducted by the Secretary of State for each state. But none of them, Democrats or Republicans, reported a ballot rigging that would change the election. Some pay a price for integrity.

Chris Krebs: And in my opinion, this is an overview of what is happening now with election officials, secretaries of state with all these threats. I would like everyone to see Secretary of State Boockvar Pennsylvania, Secretary Benson in Michigan, Secretary of Nevada Cegavske, Minister Hobbs in Arizona. Every strong woman who stands up, who is attacked by all sides and defends democracy. They do their job. Check it out – check out Secretary Raffensperger in a lifelong Republican Georgian Georgian. He put the country before a party in holding free and fair elections in that state. There are real heroes out there. There are some real patriots.

The stage at the Capitol is set for the January 20 inauguration day. Long before that, on December 14, the presidential voters will cast their vote – which should hold the election. Christopher Krebs found it ironic that the disturbances and disinformation he feared from abroad came more from Pennsylvania Avenue.

Scott Pelley: The president says you are dead wrong about election security, and what do you tell him?

Chris Krebs: There is no foreign power that reverses votes. There is no domestic actor to reverse the votes. I did it well. We did well. It was a safe choice.

Producer: Rachael Morehouse. Associate producers Jacqueline Kalil and Cassidy McDonald. The broadcaster’s staff, Ian Flickinger and Sheena Samu. Edited by Sean Kelly.