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August 15, 2018

Bill Nelson: When I Made Huge News in the Liberal Media That Russians Had Already Hacked Florida's Election System In Advance of the 2018 Elections, I Meant That They Might Hack Them

Nope. He's lying.

First of all, let's get the backstory, from August 8th. The Tampa Bay Times -- which I know I can trust, because they're responsible for PolitiFact or one of those completely-reliable fact-check operations -- reported that Nelson said, verbally, unambiguously, that Russia had penetrated Florida's voting systems in advance of the 2018 elections. Not that they might or could penetrate them.

Not that they had in 2016.

But that Russians already have penetrated them in advance of the 2018 elections:

Russian operatives have "penetrated" some of Florida's voter registration systems ahead of the 2018 midterms, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Wednesday, adding new urgency to concerns about hacking.


"They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about," Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times before a campaign event in Tampa. He said something similar a day earlier in Tallahassee but declined to elaborate.

"That's classified," the Democrat said Tuesday.


"We were requested by the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records," Nelson told the Times on Wednesday. (audio below) He noted he is a member of the Armed Services subcommittee on cybersecurity.

But his claims were immediately subject to challenge:


The state, however, said it has received "zero information" supporting his claim.


Nelson and Florida's other senator, Republican Marco Rubio, wrote a July 2 letter to the 67 county election supervisors about potential threats. But that letter lacked the specificity Nelson laid out.

"County election boards should not be expected to stand alone against a hostile foreign government," the lawmakers wrote in recommending "a wide range of services" from the Department of Homeland Security.


"The Florida Department of State has received zero information from Senator Nelson or his staff that support his claims," agency spokeswoman Sarah Revell said in a statement. "Additionally, the Department has received no information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that corroborates Senator Nelson's statement and we have no evidence to support these claims.

"If Senator Nelson has specific information about threats to our elections, he should share it with election officials in Florida."


Nelson's remarks immediately caused a major stir among county elections officials, who are testing equipment, training poll workers and counting mail ballots in advance of the Aug. 28 primary. Pinellas County elections officials immediately contacted the FBI, Homeland Security and other state and federal agencies in a futile attempt to find out more about Nelson's assertion.

"Our office has not seen any indication that we have had any penetration by any bad actions," said Pinellas election's office spokesman Dustin Chase.

As the article says, the audio of this conversation is in fact embedded at the bottom of the article linked. The first question is from a reporter specifically asking if he means there was a penetration into records before 2016 or right now, and he answers "Right now."

He adds, present tense, "The Russians ARE IN their [voting] records."

Which makes it curious that he now says, questioned further about his evidence-free claim, that he never said there was any actual penetration going on right now, and that he only meant that there had been penetration in 2016 and that it was "likely" that there could be penetration today.

Ignore the headline that precedes this clip -- he doesn't "admit" he "fabricated" the claim, though that seems to be an inescapable inference that can be drawn from his "HAVE RIGHT NOW PENETRATED/penetrated in 2016" switcheroo.

See video here, or embedded after the jump so as to keep the front page relatively free of CPU-intensive links.

Note he now says all he said was in the letter he wrote jointly with Rubio -- which itself only said penetration was a possibility that must be guarded against. He's now openly lying that the did not say what he be heard on an AUDIO RECORDING saying.

Why is he changing his claim? Why is he LYING about what he previously claimed, and claiming now that his only statement on the matter was contained in the letter he signed with Rubio?

Will the media correct the #FakeNews reports it pumped out following his initial statement, which he now implicitly concedes was misinformation -- or, more accurately and less charitably, a lie?

I'm sure this audio recording will get every bit the play from Tater & Palz that Omarosa does.

Thanks to bonhomme.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 06:55 PM

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