For Democrats, blaming Russia for “election tampering” has become something of a go-to excuse for losing elections, and for Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who is running against Governor Rick Scott, that trend is no different.
Although the election is several months away, Senator Nelson has stated that Russia has “already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about,” in what many are speculating may be an excuse for a feared loss in the November election.
The Florida State Department refuted Nelson’s claims, saying it has received “zero information” to support his statements.
Nelson’s claim was so ridiculous he was even lambasted on liberal MSNBC.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) on Wednesday claimed Russian hackers had successfully “penetrated” some of Florida’s election systems ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
“They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about,” Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times.
Nelson said leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee encouraged him and fellow Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) to notify Florida state election supervisors that “the Russians are in their records,” according to the report.
Nelson told the news outlet that the state has to act quickly, emphasizing that Russia is trying to undermine faith in the U.S. democratic system.
The specifics of the activity remain unclear, including which counties were targeted and why it is believed to be the work of Russians.
DHS spokesperson Sara Sendek, however, says the law enforcement agency has not observed the new activity Nelson mentioned on Wednesday.
“While we are aware of Senator Nelson’s recent statements, we have not seen any new compromises by Russian actors of election infrastructure,” Sendek said in a statement, noting “a number of initiatives” that help Florida officials secure their election systems.