Small Florida county that backed Trump one of two targeted by Russians: reports

Small Florida county that backed Trump one of two targeted by Russians: reports
© Greg Nash

A small county in Florida's panhandle that voted overwhelmingly to support President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE in the 2016 presidential election is one of two that were penetrated by Russian hackers in that election, according to reports.

Russia's spy agency, known as the GRU, got into Washington County's voter registration database, two officials told The Washington Post. Trump won the 25,000-person county in 2016, garnering 77.4 percent of the vote, according to Politico

County Elections Supervisor Carol F. Rudd, declined the Post's request for comment on the reported breach but told the newspaper that federal, state and local authorities need to be able to communicate with confidentiality.

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“If each agency gets suspicious of the other’s ability to follow the rules of confidentiality, then those tenuous lines of communication quickly break down,” she said in an email. “That would set our security capabilities back years and severely compromise our ability to protect our elections. THAT would be a big win for the Russians going into 2020."

Ken Detzner, who was Florida's secretary of state during the election, told the Post that he was “prohibited by law from commenting.”

“The citizens deserve and have a right to know important things with regard to their election security," he added. "Over time, it’ll come out.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantis FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Overnight Defense: Suspect in Pensacola shooting identified as Saudi aviation student | Trump speaks with Saudi king after shooting | Esper denies considering 14K deployment to Mideast Suspect in deadly Pensacola air station shooting a Saudi national MORE (R) said Tuesday that Russian hackers got into voter data in two of the state's counties during that election after being briefed by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. He declined to say which counties were breached, saying he "signed a disclosure agreement.” 

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE, who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election, wrote in his report that the GRU gained "access to the network of at least one Florida county government."

Washington County has long been a Republican stronghold, with Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Statesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges Georgia ready for unpredictable Senate race MORE winning the county in 2012 with just over 73 percent of the vote, according to Politico and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMan acquitted over tweet offering 0 to killing an ICE agent Lessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases MORE also receiving 73 percent of the vote in 2008, according to The New York Times.