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Several Senate Republicans push back against Trump's firing of DHS election security official

One called it a 'terrible mistake'

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Several GOP members of the Senate heaped praise on former DHS election security official Christopher Krebs on Wednesday, with some even breaking with their party and criticizing President Donald Trump for firing the cybersecurity director the night before.

What are the details?

Trump announced Krebs' termination on Twitter Tuesday evening, writing, ""The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud - including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, 'glitches' in the voting machines which changed voted from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more."

He added, "Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency."

That morning, Krebs had shared a blog post signed by dozens of national security experts, tweeting, "[In case you missed it]: On allegations that election systems were manipulated, 59 election security experts all agree, 'in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.' #Protect2020"

The firing occurred as the Trump campaign continues to contest election results in several states, alleging voter fraud and irregularities. Mainstream media outlets have overwhelmingly declared Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden the projected winner of the race for the White House.

Soon after news of Krebs' dismissal, GOP Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.) issued a statement complimenting the official, calling him a "dedicated public servant" who did a "remarkable job."

"I'm grateful for all Chris has done and I wish him the best in his next chapter," Burr said.

Burr stopped short of criticizing Trump over the firing, but a number of fellow Republican members of the upper chamber did not hold back.

What was the reaction?

The Hill compiled a litany of reactions from GOP senators regarding the Krebs dismissal. Some — but not all — who criticized the president's actions had already earned a reputation for breaking with Trump on other matters.

"I don't agree with it," Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia told the outlet. "He's kept us very well informed, he's been very professional. I've had several meetings with him ... and I'm appreciative of all of his work."

Sen. Mike Rounds (S.D.) said the president should be "very proud" of his administration's election security, asserting that Krebs had "a major roll." He added, "I was very disappointed when I found out he'd been terminated."

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said in a statement, "Chris Krebs did a really good job — as state election officials all across the nation will tell you — and he obviously should not be fired."

Maine Sen. Susan Collins acknowledged it was within Trump's power to show Krebs the door, but called the decision a "terrible idea."

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) was more subtle, saying, "It's the president's prerogative but I think it just adds to the confusion and chaos, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like some return to a little bit more of a — I don't even know what's normal anymore. We'll call it the next normal."

One last thing…
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