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Florida governor says Russia hacked two counties in 2016

Florida Governor Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisTop Florida Democrat calls on FBI to investigate DeSantis over vaccine distribution Rick Scott caught in middle of opposing GOP factions Florida Keys enclave, home to political donors, received COVID-19 vaccine as rest of state struggled 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened 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 WaltzTop Republican: 'Outrageous' to extend National Guard deployment at Capitol Bipartisan lawmakers call for Blinken to appoint special envoy for Venezuela Florida Republicans push Biden to implement Trump order on Venezuela MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted, pointing to a bipartisan briefing request he's made with Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyBipartisan lawmakers call for Blinken to appoint special envoy for Venezuela The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Rep. Stephanie Murphy says she's 'seriously considering' 2022 challenge to Rubio MORE (D-Fla.).

—Updated at 12:48 p.m.