Rubio says hackers penetrated Florida elections systems

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers MORE (R-Fla.) told The New York Times on Friday that hackers penetrated a Florida county’s elections system in 2016.

Rubio's comments come a week after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s report revealed that Russians sent malicious software to Florida county government officials overseeing the 2016 election.

Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the Times that there was an intrusion into a county’s elections system but that the target or targets were not notified.

He said national security officials opted to issue a blanket warning about hacking efforts as a way to protect intelligence methods.

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"Everybody has been told what it is they need to do to protect themselves from the intrusion," Rubio said. "I don’t believe the specific victims of the intrusion have been notified. The concern was that in a number of counties across the country, there are a couple of people with the attitude of: 'We’ve got this; we don’t need your help. We don’t think we need to do what you are telling us we need to do.'"

Rubio told the newspaper that the hackers were "in a position" to change voter roll data, but it does not appear they did so.

"My biggest concern is that on Election Day you go vote and have mass confusion because voter registration information has been deleted from the systems," he said.

Rubio and former Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTom Brady to Biden: '40 percent of the people still don't think we won' Rubio, Demings rake in cash as Florida Senate race heats up How transparency on UFOs can unite a deeply divided nation MORE (D-Fla.) wrote a letter to Florida’s top elections official last year calling on him to seek federal assistance in securing the state’s elections systems.

A spokesperson for Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told The Hill on Friday that "the FBI has reached out and is working on scheduling a briefing with Senator Scott in the next few weeks" to brief him and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Florida asks Supreme Court to block CDC's limits on cruise ship industry Noem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event MORE (R) about the hacking detailed in Mueller’s report. 

Scott, who was governor during the 2016 election, sent a letter to the FBI last week asking it to confirm the hacking. For his part, DeSantis has expressed frustration with what he says is a lack of transparency from federal authorities.

"They won’t tell us which county it was. Are you kidding me?" he said at a Thursday press conference in Miami. "Why would you have not said something immediately?"