DeSantis says Russians hacked two Florida county election info in 2016

Following a briefing by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed that Russian hackers accessed election information in two of the state’s counties after successful spear phishing attempts, although the governor declined to name the counties at the behest of investigators.

“I’m not allowed to name the counties. I signed a disclosure agreement,” DeSantis told reporters Tuesday, noting “they asked me to sign it so I’m going to respect their wishes.”

Last month after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign recounted a successful hack on a Florida county’s election system, DeSantis took the FBI to task for not reporting the incident directly to his office.

“They won’t tell us which county it was, are you kidding me?” he said last month. “Why would you not have said something immediately?”

The Mueller report didn’t identify the county whose systems were affected, after Russian hackers sent spear phishing emails to about 120 Florida election officials’ email accounts. 

On Tuesday the governor said the intrusions “did not affect any voting or anything like that.”

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