Gov. Scott: Bill Nelson Must Come Clean – Did He Lie to Floridians or Release Classified Information?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Scott for Florida campaign released the below statement from Governor Rick Scott following Bill Nelson again failing to provide any explanation or evidence for his claims of Russian interference last week.

Governor Rick Scott said, “We all agree that we have to take the threat of Russian interference in our elections system seriously. That’s why we have invested millions of dollars in cyber security, hired additional cyber security staff, secured election security grants for all 67 counties in Florida, and worked constantly with our state and federal partners, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, to ensure Florida continues to have free and fair elections with no fraud.

“But let’s be clear: Bill Nelson’s claims from last week were not just a warning for state and county officials to be prepared for this threat. Bill Nelson’s exact word-for-word claims were that Russians ‘have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about.’ When asked, he also clarified that this was occurring ‘right now’ but that he couldn’t give more details because it was ‘confidential.’

“Bill Nelson’s comments today are in stark contrast to these serious, and even frightening, claims from last week. And his attempts to tie these claims to a July letter that in no way claimed Russians were currently in Florida election systems is not only senseless – it’s irresponsible. Now, Bill Nelson is also claiming that Russians ‘were in our election records in Florida in 2016,’ even though Homeland Security, state officials and supervisors of elections throughout Florida have maintained that hacking attempts were unsuccessful.

“Bill Nelson wants to blame others for politicizing this issue, but he is the one who has politicized a serious concern that our supervisors of elections and state officials are focusing on every single day. And now, he has allowed a week to pass without providing Floridians with the thorough explanation they deserve. We take every threat seriously in Florida, but Bill Nelson must come clean – did he lie to Floridians or did he release classified information?”


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – The allegations Bill Nelson made last week to members of the media were:

  • That he was “requested by the chairman and vice chairman of Intelligence Committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that Russians are in their records.”
  • That “They [Russians] have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about.”
  • That this was occurring “right now.”
  • And when pressed for more details, only said “’it’s classified.”