Trump Is Now Reportedly Gunning for Top Cybersecurity Officials [Updating]

Illustration for article titled Trump Is Now Reportedly Gunning for Top Cybersecurity Officials [Updating]

Photo: Mandel Ngan (Getty Images)

On Thursday, CyberScoop first reported that Bryan S. Ware, one of the most important figures in command at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) had stepped down with plans to work in the private sector. Now, it seems there might be more to the story.

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Reuters confirmed that Ware handed in his resignation but also reports that “a U.S. official familiar with the matter said the White House asked for Ware’s resignation earlier this week.” Ware declined to comment when asked by CyberScoop if the White House had asked him to leave and instead focused on highlighting the work his team has done over the last year to protect research institutions and universities from hacking.

It’s time for many officials to start leaving for new frontiers as the federal government prepares to transition to President-elect Biden’s administration. But President Trump’s refusal to cooperate with that transition, failure to concede, and decision to replace top Pentagon leadership with a bunch of internet trolls has observers on edge with every shift in personnel.

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And the fact is, it appears that some kind of targeted mass-firing is occurring at CISA. This afternoon, Reuters reported that Christopher Krebs, the director of CISA and the first person to ever hold that title for the relatively young agency, expects to be fired soon.

Citing “three sources familiar with the matter,” Reuters reports that Krebs has gotten Trump’s attention because CISA’s Rumor Control web portal keeps debunking false conspiracy theories that the President would prefer the public to believe. (Here’s an archive link for that site if it disappears.) According to the sources, the White House has asked for specific items within the fact-checking hub to be edited or removed, a request that CISA has so far denied. Luke Barr of ABC News and Natasha Bertrand of Politico have also confirmed that Krebs expects to be fired.

This is a developing story and we’ll update this page as we learn more. Meanwhile, the President is tweeting about the cyber again:

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