A former head of US election security who said Donald Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden was not subject to voter fraud should be “taken out at dawn and shot”, a Trump campaign lawyer said.
Condemnation of Joe DiGenova’s remark about Chris Krebs was swift, including calls for his disbarment and the charge that he was behaving like a “mob attorney”.
Krebs was fired as head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) on 17 November, not long after he said the election, contrary to Trump’s claims, “was the most secure in American history”.
Krebs also used Twitter to publicly debunk Trump’s conspiracy theories.
DiGenova defended the president in the Russia investigation and is now involved in attempts to overturn results in battleground states. The Trump campaign has won one lawsuit – and lost 39.
DiGenova made the remark about Krebs on The Howie Carr Show, a podcast shown on YouTube and the Trump-allied Newsmax TV, on Monday.
“Anybody who thinks the election went well,” he said, “like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity, that guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.”
Carr did not challenge the remark.
A day earlier, Krebs told CBS 60 Minutes Trump was trying to “undermine democracy … to undermine confidence in the election, to confuse people, to scare people”.
Trump called that interview “ridiculous, one-sided [and] an international joke”.
DiGenova is not the first close Trump aide to call for the death of an official in the president’s disfavour. In early November, former campaign chief and White House strategist Steve Bannon said FBI director Christopher Wray and public health expert Anthony Fauci should be beheaded. He was banned from Twitter.
DiGenova said Trump’s legal team was “talking to the jury, trying to influence the jury. And that includes judges and state legislatures. And the governors in these states are a bunch of losers, along with their secretaries of state. I’ve never seen such wimps wearing an R [being Republican].
“You know, they’re going to have to be dealt with politically. It’s the only way you deal with these people.”
Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia who has resisted attempts to overturn Biden’s win there, has said he and his wife have received death threats from Trump supporters.
Condemnation of DiGenova’s remark about Krebs was swift.
Lois Clark, chief executive of the Government Accountability Project, said in a statement: “Threats like these trigger an avalanche of them. They terrorise other whistleblowers into silence. It’s behavior befitting a mob attorney.”
Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI deputy director, said DiGenova had made “a retaliatory threat involving Krebs’ official duties, in violation of federal law Title 18 USC 351”.
Andrew Weissmann, a former federal prosecutor and senior aide to special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia investigation, tweeted that the remark was “shocking” and DiGenova should “face disbarment at least”.