- The Washington Times - Friday, April 26, 2019

The FBI will brief officials in Florida amid revelations about the outcome of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections, state leaders said Thursday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott, both Republicans, said they plan to meet with the FBI within weeks to hear whether Russian hackers successfully breached any computers in Florida as mentioned by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report detailing the government’s investigation into the race.

“We’re looking for answers. I think finally next week we’re going to get somebody, or maybe the week after we’re going to have somebody come brief us on what happened,” Mr. DeSantis said, The Miami Herald reported.

The FBI “has reached out and is working on scheduling a briefing with Senator Scott in the next few weeks,” said a spokesperson for Mr. Scott, Politico reported.

The FBI declined to comment.



In a report released a week earlier, Mr. Mueller mentioned that the FBI believes that the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, successfully hacked into “the network of at least one Florida county government” during the 2016 race.

Mr. Scott subsequently wrote FBI Director Christopher A. Wray seeking clarification on the special counsel’s claims, calling election interference “a very serious issue that needs the immediate attention of the FBI.”

The former governor of Florida, Mr. Scott was elected senator last year by narrowly defeating incumbent Bill Nelson, a Democrat, in the November midterms.

Mr. Nelson claimed while campaigning that Florida was hacked by Russia in 2016. His challenger at the time, Mr. Scott, condemned his comments at the time as “irresponsible” and called Mr. Nelson “confused” and “dishonest.”

The FBI believes that at least one Florida county was breached in 2016 as a result of a spear-phishing campaign in which Russian hackers masquerading as a voting equipment vendor sent malicious emails to targets in several states, according to Mr. Mueller’s report.

A former member of Congress, Mr. DeSantis complained during a press conference Thursday about the lack of information made available nearly three years later.

“They won’t tell us which county it was, are you kidding me?” Mr. DeSantis said, The Herald reported. “Why would you have not said something immediately?”

“I think the public has a right to know what may have happened,” the governor added.

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