DeSantis wants to tell which Florida counties were hacked, but he can't

Governor says lack of information led him to sign FBI's non-disclosure agreement

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he wishes he could reveal which two Florida counties had their voter databases accessed by Russian hackers before the 2016 presidential election.

"I don't think it necessarily should be classified, but I signed a document, in order to get the briefing, saying that I wouldn't divulge that," DeSantis told reporters before a scheduled appearance at the Biltmore hotel.

The governor announced Tuesday that Russian hackers had accessed voter databases in two Florida counties, but a confidentiality agreement he signed with the FBI precluded him from saying which ones.

"But, you know, you guys are enterprising," DeSantis told reporters. "You can make 67 phone calls and they could probably tell you without having any problem."

DeSantis was referring to Florida's election offices in all 67 counties.

Elections supervisors in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have already said they weren't breached.

"We have no indication that a Miami-Dade County system has been breached," Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections Christina White told Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg in a text message.

Broward County Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci said the same of his office.

"Nobody's asked me to sign a non-disclosure," he told Milberg. "I'm disclosing. It's not us."

DeSantis said there "was a breach, but no manipulation."

"Obviously, you don't want that to happen, but it was contained and there was no damage done," DeSantis said.

The governor said there was also no indication the 2018 election was compromised.

 

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election also said hackers gained access to the network of at least one Florida county, prompting DeSantis to inquire about it. But the FBI kept telling him the information was classified.

DeSantis defended his decision to sign the confidentiality agreement, saying the state was "getting no information."

"If I didn't sign that, I wouldn't have gotten any briefing and I would have known even less," he said.

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