Rubio: Former campaign aides targeted by IP address in Russia

Rubio: Former campaign aides targeted by IP address in Russia
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (R-Fla.) revealed Thursday that former members of his presidential campaign team were targeted by IP addresses located in Russia.

Rubio disclosed the attempts, which he said were unsuccessful, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian election interference on Thursday. 

Rubio was one of several Republican presidential candidates who lost out to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE during the primary last year. Rubio dropped out of the race last March after losing his home state of Florida to Trump. 

Former members of his campaign team were targeted shortly after he left the race and as recently as Wednesday, Rubio said. 

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“In July of 2016, shortly after I announced that I would seek reelection to the U.S. Senate, former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russia,” Rubio said. “That effort was unsuccessful.”

“I also want to inform the committee that within the last 24 hours, at 10:45 a.m. yesterday, a second attempt was made, again, against former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to our internal information, again targeted from an IP address from an unknown location in Russia,” he said. “That effort was also unsuccessful.”

Rubio did not offer up any details on the severity of the attempted intrusions. An IP address located in Russia also does not necessarily mean that his former campaign aides were targeted by the Russian government. 

Thursday’s open hearing was the panel’s first since announcing its investigation into Russia’s cyber and disinformation campaign against the 2016 presidential election.

Both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are probing Russia's election interference, which the intelligence community has concluded was aimed at undermining the U.S. democratic process and damaging Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 The Hill's Campaign Report: High stakes at last Democratic debate before Super Tuesday MORE

FBI Director James Comey also revealed last week that the bureau is investigating Moscow’s hacking campaign, including whether there was any coordination between associates of Trump’s campaign and Russia.