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Florida Governor DeSantis Defends Decision To Honor Non-Disclosure Agreement On Florida Election Hacking By Russia

CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Governor Ron DeSantis is addressing classified information he got from the FBI.

He was told Russians hacked two Florida county election offices, but no data was manipulated.

He was also told he can not divulge which counties were breached.

"I wish we could tell the counties," Governor Ron DeSantis said. "I'm happy to tell the people, I don't think it necessarily should be classified."

He said he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

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

Politico Reporter Marc Caputo asked, "You're the governor of the state, a believer in state's rights. How could you be bound by that?"

The governor responded, "Because they control classified information and I did not warrant access to that. So by them giving it to me, I agreed to behave in that way."

DeSantis said he does not think the information should be classified.

"I personally think that it's over classified. I think a lot of this stuff is over classified," he said.

While the hack details are new to the governor — he said some in Florida law enforcement were looped in earlier.

"The state didn't seem to know what it was," Governor DeSantis said.  "Now the FBI has said there were state actors, state agents on the task force that had access to this and should have known.  I'm trying to figure out whether that's true or not."

Joe Uscinski is an associate professor of political science at the University of Miami. He believes before worrying about where this happened, the public should know if the results were accurate.

"Lots of people believe that Elections are hacked anyway, whether it's by the Russians or by someone else," he said. "When people lose they tend to think they were cheated. This is only going to contribute to those feelings. A lot of people are going to blame their sides' loss to Russian hacking when in fact I may not have nothing to do with it."

The governor is not the only one who will be bound by secrecy.

Thursday morning Florida's Congressional delegation in Washington will receive the same classified briefing by the FBI.  They are not expected to be able to comment either on which counties were hacked.

Supervisors of Elections in Miami-Dade and Broward have both said they were not hacked.

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