Tampa Bay Times by Emily L. Mahoney
May 14, 2019
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis met with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last Friday to discuss the revelation in Robert Mueller’s report that “at least one” Florida county had its election information accessed by Russian hackers in 2016.
DeSantis told reporters Tuesday that he had been briefed on that breach — which he said actually happened in two counties in Florida — but that he couldn’t share which counties had been the target.
“I’m not allowed to name the counties. I signed a (non)disclosure agreement,” DeSantis said, emphasizing that he “would be willing to name it” but “they asked me to sign it so I’m going to respect their wishes.”
DeSantis emphasized that while the counties had experienced “intrusion into the supervisor of election networks,” no information was manipulated or changed, and said it’s possible they obtained voter information that was public record anyway. Voter registration databases are not connected to the vote tabulation systems.
DeSantis’ comments came during a surreal Capitol news conference during which he wouldn’t elaborate on the highly unusual situation of the federal government asking a governor to sign a nondisclosure agreement, especially in a case involving that governor’s own state. After some questions, he paused to consider how much he was allowed to share with the public.