Trump blasts fired elections security director and ’60 Minutes’ for ‘ridiculous, one-sided’ interview

The former Department of Homeland Security elections security chief fired by President Donald Trump after claiming this year’s elections were the most secure in U.S. history, claimed in an interview aired Sunday that he’s certain there was no vote fraud.

Chris Krebs, who headed up DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) told Scott Pelley of CBS’s 60 Minutes the widespread use of paper ballots this year gave him faith in election outcomes.

The former CISA director said that his job including “gaming out every possible scenario for how a foreign actor could interfere with an election,” adding that “countless, countless scenarios” were examined.

He then told Pelley that one thing he encouraged of state and local elections officials was the greater use of paper ballots.

“Paper ballots give you the ability to audit, to go back and check the tape and make sure that you got the count right,” said Krebs, adding that they were “really one of the keys to success for a secure 2020 election.”

He said that in 2016, 82 percent of votes were cast using paper ballots, but that this year, the figure rose to 95 percent, no doubt because of widespread mail-in balloting — which President Donald Trump and others warned for months, was ripe for fraud.

“And with a paper record, you can go back and verify what the machine is saying by physically counting the paper?” Pelley asked.

“That gives you the ability to prove that there was no malicious algorithm or hacked software that adjusted the tally of the vote,” Krebs explained, noting that in Georgia, hand recounts of paper ballots were “consistent” with vote counts tabulated by machines.

“And that tells you what?” Pelley pressed.

“That tells you that there was no manipulation of the vote on the machine count side,” Krebs responded, and “pretty thoroughly, in my opinion, debunks some of these sensational claims out there — that I’ve called nonsense and a hoax, that there is some hacking of these election vendors and their software and their systems across the country. It’s– it’s just– it’s nonsense.”

Trump fired Krebs earlier this month after the former CISA director claimed this year’s elections were “the most secure in American history.” At the time, the president said Krebs’ claim was “highly inaccurate.”

Following the interview, Trump tweeted that 60 Minutes never bothered to reach out to the White House for comment.

“@60Minutes never asked us for a comment about their ridiculous, one-sided story on election security, which is an international joke. Our 2020 Election, from poorly rated Dominion to a Country FLOODED with unaccounted for Mail-In ballots, was probably our least secure EVER!” Trump wrote.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1333215466022727686

As for Krebs’ claims about Georgia, critics have pointed out that security surrounding the paper ballots is the issue.

“I don’t think it’s brain surgery to figure out that there should only be one standard for every person who votes in Georgia,” Fox News’ Sean Hannity said earlier this month regarding a consent decree Gov. Brian Kemp signed in March in response to a Democrat lawsuit permitting two signature verification standards.

“They should be checking signatures against the same database that Election Day voters had to meet with those that requested mailing ballots. It’s that simple,” he added.

Georgia-based attorney Lin Wood has filed suit over the change, assailing Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, for “unilaterally, and without the approval or direction of the Georgia General Assembly, changed the process for handling absentee ballots in Georgia, including those case in the general election.”

Another suit challenging the results filed by attorney Sidney Powell alleges that “old-fashioned ‘ballot-stuffing’” occurred in Georgia as well.

Critics noted that despite Krebs’ explanation, taken together, forged paper ballots ‘stuffed’ into machines would be counted and then ultimately accepted as genuine if they were never properly matched to signatures.

Jon Dougherty

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