Florida governor says Russia hacked two counties in 2016

Florida Governor Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisTo win over Midwesterners, Democrats should rethink school choice stance DeSantis wants statue of civil rights activist to replace Confederate figure on Capitol Hill Florida couple wins right to plant vegetables in front yard after years-long legal battle MORE (R) said Tuesday that Russian hackers successfully gained access to voter data in two counties during the 2016 presidential election.

DeSantis's remarks come after he met with representatives from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about Moscow's 2016 cyber efforts in his state, a briefing that came weeks after the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's report about interference in the election.

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Mueller wrote in his report that his office accepted the FBI's assessment that the GRU, Russia's intelligence service, gained "access to the network of at least one Florida county government."

"As many of you know, I recently met with the FBI concerning the election issue mentioned in the Mueller report," DeSantis said during a press conference.

"Two Florida counties experienced intrusion into the Supervisor of Election networks. There was no manipulation or anything, but there was voter data that [hackers were] able to get. Now, that voter data was public anyways. Nevertheless, those were intrusions. It did not affect any voting or anything like that," he continued.

According to the Mueller report, the GRU operatives sent "spearphishing emails to over 120 email accounts used by Florida county officials responsible for administering the 2016 U.S. election." The emails included an attached Word document that had malware coded into it, which allowed the Russian hackers to infect the computers if the attachment was opened.

Mueller noted that his office "did not independently verify" the assessment of the hack from the FBI, which took the lead on the intrusion investigation.

DeSantis said the FBI was working with the two counties at the time, and that the counties' officials knew about the intrusion prior to the 2016 election.

He declined, however, to identify the counties, noting that he had "signed a disclosure agreement.”

“I’m not allowed to name the counties,” DeSantis said.

Florida lawmakers on both sides of the aisle used the announcement to aid their argument that Congress needs to be briefed about the hacks.

"This is exactly why Congress needs to know what Russia did and which counties were involved in their election interference. The FBI briefing @RepStephMurphy and I requested is critical to protect our elections and voters from further attacks,” Rep. Michael WaltzMichael WaltzSenators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border Florida lawmakers push DHS to notify voters, other officials of election system breaches MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted, pointing to a bipartisan briefing request he's made with Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyHouse Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour Omar introduces resolution affirming 'right to participate in boycotts' ahead of possible vote on anti-BDS bill MORE (D-Fla.).

—Updated at 12:48 p.m.