Washington — Chris Krebs, the former top cybersecurity official with the Trump administration who was ousted after the November election, said Sunday it’s “well past the time” for Republican leaders to accept the outcome of the presidential race and recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect, even as President Trump falsely claims the election was rigged against him.
“The result of the 2020 election is clear,” Krebs, who led the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said on “Face the Nation. “The key states certainly have certified over the last several days and will continue to certify in the run up to the seating of the Electoral College on December 14. But this race is over. We’ve got to get ready for January 20 and the next administration.”
Krebs commended Republican officials who have spoken out against Mr. Trump’s claims that he is the real winner of the presidential race, saying “it’s the right thing to do.”
“I think the rest of them have to acknowledge that the system in place to conduct the election was legitimate, and particularly in the House, they’ve accepted their outcomes and their races,” he said. “I don’t see any difference here between the presidential race. It is well past the time where all leaders of the Republican Party need to accept the outcome of this race, and move on and accept that Joe Biden is the president-elect.”
Mr. Biden was projected the winner of the presidential election November 7, and in the weeks since, states have certified their election results. Mr. Biden cleared the 270 electoral votes he needed to deny Mr. Trump a second term Friday when California certified its presidential election results.
Mr. Biden’s ongoing preparations to take the helm of the federal government have not stopped Mr. Trump from pushing unsubstantiated accusations of widespread voter fraud and baseless claims he won states where he, in fact, lost. Legal challenges to election results brought by Mr. Trump’s campaign have been largely dismissed by federal and state courts, with judges finding no evidence to support the campaign’s allegations.
Krebs said Mr. Trump’s attacks on the integrity of the election, including at a rally in Georgia on Saturday, are “corrosive to confidence” in democracy.
“The point of elections, it’s often been said by election officials, is that you’re trying to convince the loser that they lost. But to do that, you have to have willing participants that are honest brokers. And we’re just not seeing this right now,” he said.
Krebs said GOP leaders and top national security officials need to “stand up to accept the results and move forward.”
“We cannot allow this to continue, certainly not past January 20, certainly not for the next four years,” he said. “Any sort of ‘lost cause’ movement would be just horribly destructive to democracy.”
As director of CISA, Krebs oversaw election cybersecurity efforts. In a statement following the November election, CISA declared the contest “the most secure in American history” and said “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
In the wake of the statement, Mr. Trump announced on Twitter he fired Krebs and said the statement was “highly inaccurate.”