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Former Cyber Security Chief Sues Trump Campaign and Others, Charging Defamation

Former cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs alleges he was defamed by the Trump campaign and attorney Joseph diGenova.
Tom Williams
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag
Former cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs alleges he was defamed by the Trump campaign and attorney Joseph diGenova.

Christopher Krebs, who was fired by President Trump last month after asserting the recent presidential election was "the most secure in American history," filed suit Tuesday against the Trump campaign, attorney Joseph diGenova and the cable channel Newsmax.

Krebs charges he was defamed by diGenova, who said on Newsmax that Krebs "should be drawn and quartered" or "shot at dawn" following Krebs' statement. Krebs says such punishments are the "fate of a convicted traitor" and the basis for his defamation accusation.

, filed in Montgomery Co., Md. circuit court, seeks an injunction ordering Newsmax to remove the diGenova interview from its website, as well as monetary damages.

Krebs charges he has been the victim of death threats following DiGenova's remarks, which diGenova has said were "hyperbole."

Krebs was the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, which was in charge of election security. It, along with a council of private industry groups and state election officials released a statement last month that not only was the election the most secure in U.S. history, but that "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

That runs counter to President Trump's made up claims that the election was rigged, and that voting equipment provided by Dominion Voting Systems had "deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide" and switched hundreds of thousands of other Trump votes to Joe Biden.

The council made its' statement on November 12th, and Trump announced via Twitter that Krebs "had been terminated" five days later.

Speaking on NPR's Morning Edition earlier this month, Krebs said he had no regrets about making that statement. "It was the right thing to do in the name of democracy," he told Steve Inskeep.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.