Fallout as Trump terminates his defense secretary and top cybersecurity official

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Rep. Denver Riggleman discuss the fallout as the president nears the end of his term in office.
5:38 | 11/19/20

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Transcript for Fallout as Trump terminates his defense secretary and top cybersecurity official
The president still refusing to concede to President-Elect Joe Biden. So what's the fallout as the presidency nears an end? Here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl with the latest. Reporter: With the president's legal challenges going nowhere and no evidence whatsoever that the results of this election are going to change no matter what the trump campaign tries, the focus is on what the president will do in his remaining two months. He's already fired his defense secretary, then he went out and fired Christopher Krebs, the top cybersecurity official in the department of homeland security. Krebs was fired essentially because he had said that this was the most secure election we'd ever seen. In other words, disagreeing with the president saying there was widespread fraud. The question is, are there going to be more firings, more people that the president is unhappy with, tossed out as he approaches the end of his presidency? Unclear where it is going, but a lot of uncertainty as 1600 Pennsylvania avenue. Our thanks to Jon. Earlier this evening I spoke to Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, former Obama cabinet etetary. And congressman Denver Riggleman, the outgoing Republican representing charlottesville, Virginia. Thank you both for joining us. Thank you. Thank you. Secretary Napolitano, you served as secretary of homeland security for president Obama. Tell me first how crucial Chris Krebs' role was overseeing election security and the fact that trump fired him for speaking out as cybersecurity chief has so many people outraged? Well, people are outraged because Chris Krebs did a great job. He ran a sub-agency within the department of homeland security called CISA. Part of CISA's role is the protection of our election infrastructure. He worked with people of both parties. He worked with estate and local el officials. He worked with the private he really made sure that the U.S. Election was run and won fair and square. And he was really fired for doing his job. And that would certainly cause outrage. Congressman Riggleman, let me turn to you. You are one of the rare Republicans in congress who have acknowledged Joe Biden as the President-Elect and that's 11 days after he was projected to win. You've described some of the misinformation out there as, quote, crossing the rubicon, jumping on the crazy train, headed into cliffs that guard the flat Earth. Why are so many -- so few, rather, members of your party challenging these falsehoods? And would you urge them to do so? It's time to say, Mr. President, there's P policies that have been good, there's things we've agreed with, but you have lost this race. It is time to say it's over. Just looking at this again, looking at it from the vote counts, they're massive. Looking at the data. There's no way this is going to be turned around. This election's over, juju. I know that's going to stun some people to say that after 11 days. I think I'm being a little sarcastic. But it's time for members of congress, those in the senate, time to realize we need to help in the transition. That the country is bigger than a person. That the institution is bigger than any man or woman. I think we need it -- we owe this to constitution, not to a human being. We all need to remember that and I'm trying to do my best to do Secretary Napolitano, how crucial is it for a transition to get under way right away, from a national security perspective, also the pandemic? President-Elect Biden said B refusing to concede, president trump is jeopardizing a vaccine rollout. There's so littleime between the election and the inauguration for an incoming president to take over the reins of the federal government. And from a national security perspective, to get up to speed on the most current intelligence about threats facing our country and possible initiatives or actions that are in the planning stages. And then from the vaccine perspective, you know. Rolling out a vaccine for 300 million people is no small feat. And there are a lot of nuts and bolts to it. And the Biden team needs to know exactly what the trump folks have in the works,t's already been planned, so they can build off of that and have a smooth transition, and we can move with alacrity to having a national vaccine campaign. Congressman, president trump's legal team has already lost or withdrawn 14 separate lawsuits that alleged election fraud. So does someone need to tell them that it's time to concede for the good of the country? And what do you think the most likely scenario is for that overdue transition? I think the concession wouldn't happen until after this session of congress is over. What I'm talking about now, maybe into December. As far as the lawsuits are concerned, you're going to want somebody that actually has a technological background to go into court and argue some of this ridiculousness. I would hope all of us can come together and look at this and say, the election is over, we have a new President-Elect, let's move forward. Let's stop doing things like the secretary was talking about. When you fire somebody like a Chris Krebs, we're also losing the corporate knowledge for this transition from somebody like Esper, somebody like Joe Kernan, usgi. You're taking away that corporate knowledge and experience to lead us through this transition. Congressman and madam secretary, thank you for your time and your perspective. Thank you, juju.

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