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Ex-U.S. cybersecurity chief defends assessment that election was secure

By Don Jacobson
Ex-U.S. cybersecurity chief defends assessment that election was secure
Left to right, James R. Troupis, Jesse Binnall, and former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Chris Krebs are sworn-in Wednesday before testifying in the hearing to examine the 2020 presidential election in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The federal government's former top cybersecurity expert on Wednesday defended his assessment that last month's elections were secure during questioning at a Senate hearing.

Christopher Krebs, who was fired last month by President Donald Trump after he refuted false claims of voter fraud, told members of the Senate homeland security committee he stood by his earlier statement that the Nov. 3 election was "the most secure in American history."

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"I've yet to see anything from a security perspective ... that would change my opinion on that," he said after three earlier witnesses called by Republican committee members reiterated claims of voter fraud which have been rejected by various courts.

"I think we're past the point where we need to be having conversations about the outcome of this election," Krebs said while noting that outgoing Attorney General William Barr has also said that no evidence of widespread fraud has been discovered.

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"Continued assaults on democracy and the outcome of this election only serve to undermine confidence in the process and is ultimately corrosive to the institutions that support elections," he added.

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Krebs, former director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, made his first public appearance since his departure.

The CISA under his direction called the Nov. 3 election "the most secure in American history" and said Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud were either "unsubstantiated" or "technically incoherent."

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No evidence has been presented to support any of the Trump campaign's claims of voter fraud. President-elect Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes, far more than the 270 needed to win the presidency. The Electoral College formally elected Biden on Monday.

Three witnesses who helped Trump press legal claims that the election was tainted -- attorneys James Troupis and Jesse Binnall and Pennsylvania state legislator Francis Ryan -- opened the hearing by repeating voter fraud arguments made in since-dismissed court challenges in Wisconsin, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, the committee's ranking Democrat, denounced the legal efforts by Trump and his Republican supporters as designed to sow public doubt about the election outcome.

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"Whether intended or not, this hearing gives a platform to conspiracy theories and lies and is a destructive exercise that has no place in the U.S. Senate," he said. "Joe Biden won the election."

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