It was not the first time that government agencies have taken responsibility for Mr. Trump’s lies. In July, the Food and Drug Administration warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus after Mr Trump adopted its use. The president was angry, but the head of the agency survived.
Many of the accusations of fraud, illegal voting, and software glitches have come from Mr. Trump and his sons.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has called for “all-out war” in Georgia for what he claims is electoral fraud. Eric Trump shared conspiracy theories that poll workers in Arizona gave Trump voters Sharpie pens that could not be read by ballot scanners, a claim that was quickly debunked by the Secretary of State. ‘State of Arizona. Supporters of the president have sent death threats to election officials in Pennsylvania.
Yet, both before and after Election Day, Mr. Trump was repeatedly contradicted – though never named – by the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber agency because it sought to dispel disinformation. The agency’s director, Christopher Krebs, had led the charge to secure election machines, registration systems and tabulation systems in all 50 states, sending in experts to help and test the systems for vulnerabilities.
Mr Krebs also argued that his agency needed to tackle “hacking of minds and infrastructure,” and he set up a “rumor control” page on his agency’s federal government website. He has repeatedly contradicted Mr. Trump, explaining why postal ballots don’t lend themselves to fraud and how states ensure the dead don’t vote.
Mr. Krebs, a former Microsoft executive with a sharp wit and a willingness to resist political pressure, did not back down when these efforts created a backlash in the White House. And he was recently congratulated in public by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad F. Wolf for the “rumor control” effort.
Mr. Krebs has been widely rumored to be on the list of officials who could be fired from the White House, along with CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. But so far the boom has not been lowered.