May 14 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that Russian hackers breached voter databases in two of the state's counties before the 2016 presidential election.
DeSantis referred to the breaches as "intrusions," but said "there was no manipulation."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller hinted at the breaches in his redacted report on Russian election interference submitted last month, which states that Russian hackers breached "at least one" Florida county elections system.
After meeting with the FBI about the Mueller report, DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday that two election systems were breached, but it did not impact the tallies or results.
"Two Florida counties experienced intrusion into the supervisor of election networks," DeSantis said.
"There was voter data that was able to be got," he added. "That voter data I think was public, anyway. Nevertheless, those were intrusions ... This was something where they had a spear-phishing, someone clicked on it so they were able to get access to things, but nothing that affected the vote count."
He did not disclose which counties' networks were impacted.
The report states that the Russian military's Main Directorate of the General Staff, also called the GRU, "sent spear-phishing emails to over 120 email accounts used by Florida county officials responsible for administering the 2016 U.S. election," but the FBI was handling that part of the probe separately.
The Russian hackers used spear-phishing emails that mimicked voting system vendors to trick elections officials into allowing them to access their networks. Hackers allegedly targeted employees of a software company used by numerous U.S. counties to manage voter rolls and installed malware on the company network before the 2016 presidential election.
A 2017 leaked National Security Agency document names the software company, redacted in the Mueller report, as Florida-based VR systems.