The Latest: Spokesman: Feds did not contradict Sen. Nelson
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s assertion that Russians have penetrated Florida election systems (all times local):
A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says a letter from federal authorities does not “contradict” the senator’s previous assertion that Russians had penetrated the election systems of certain Florida counties.
Federal authorities on Monday sent a letter to state election officials that said they had not seen any “new or ongoing compromises” of state and local election systems. Russian hackers targeted at least 21 states, including Florida, before the 2016 election.
Nelson, a Democrat, earlier this month said Russians “have free rein to move about” in election systems they had penetrated ahead of this year’s election. Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott demanded that Nelson prove his assertions.
Ryan Brown, a spokesman for Nelson, said Scott has security clearance and could have quickly received information. Brown said Gov. Scott has engaged in “confusing and partisan histrionics.”
Federal authorities are telling Florida election officials they have not seen any “new or ongoing compromises” of state and local election systems.
The joint letter sent Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security comes after U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Russians had penetrated the systems of certain counties and “have free rein to move about” ahead of this year’s election.
Federal officials earlier said Russian hackers targeted at least 21 states, including Florida, ahead of the 2016 election.
Nelson, a Democrat, stuck by his comments even as Gov. Rick Scott, his Republican rival in this year’s elections, pressed him for proof.
Scott issued a statement saying the agencies’ letter shows Nelson was “irresponsible” and “reckless.”