Florida governor says Russia hacked two counties in 2016

Florida Governor Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisDHS official: Florida one of the 'best' states on election security, despite 2016 Russian hack Florida teacher arrested for loaded gun in backpack told reporter: 'Ask DeSantis' Trump officials not sending migrants to Florida after backlash 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 MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' 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 WaltzFlorida governor says Russia hacked two counties in 2016 McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader Here are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted, pointing to a bipartisan briefing request he's made with Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyHillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group Florida lawmakers push FBI, DHS to declassify names of the two counties hacked by Russia in 2016 Florida governor says Russia hacked two counties in 2016 MORE (D-Fla.).

—Updated at 12:48 p.m.