Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), was terminated from his post, according to a tweet from President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Krebs's termination comes after two years of service to the agency, leading government officials through the 2018 and 2020 elections. While his confirmation largely drew bipartisan support, he's fallen under White House scrutiny in recent weeks because of his involvement in debunking election misinformation, according to a Reuters report.
The firing is just one of several top national and cybersecurity officials to announce they are leaving the administration this week, leaving crucial leadership posts vacant.
As federal officials prepare for the upcoming White House transition, senior leadership is stepping down allegedly under pressure from the current administration.
CISA's Assistant Director for Cybersecurity Bryan Ware announced his own departure from the agency. Trump appointed Ware to the position in January, but the White House pushed for his resignation this week, sources confirmed to Reuters.
"The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud," Trump tweeted Tuesday night.
The rift between the administration and CISA reportedly began because the agency tasked with election security efforts refused to remove information correcting election rumors from its rumor control site.
"There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," according to a joint announcement from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) Executive Committees, which include CISA membership.
The statement urged Americans to turn to election officials as the trusted voice on election security.
The departures come shortly after Election Day. Senior CISA officials warned although Election Day remained quiet on the cyberattack front, "plenty of windows of potential opportunity" for cyber intrusion, such as denial of service attacks and disinformation, are still open to attackers as the results are finalized.
With senior officials stepping down in the interim, malicious actors may have more gaps in the cyber frontlines to exploit. Krebs repeatedly praised the work of federal, state and local officials for their work in keeping the 2020 election secure. A lack of key leadership could undermine those efforts.
The GCC and SCC Executive Committees reiterated that the 2020 election "was the most secure in American history" and assured leadership that they should have the "utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections.
CISA did not immediately respond to Cybersecurity Dive's request for comment.