Florida Reporter: Nelson Has 'Little Bit of Egg on His Face' With Russian Hacking Claim

August 10, 2018

Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith appeared on CNN Friday where he broke down Sen. Bill Nelson's (D., Fla.) claim that Russians compromised voting systems in Florida.

Nelson's claim Wednesday was shot down by election officials in the state who said they haven't seen any sign of interference.

Both the Florida Department of State and county election officials told the Sun-Sentinel they had received no information from Nelson about any threats to Florida's election system.

CNN's Kate Bolduan told Smith the network has reached out to Nelson for more information and has asked for an interview over his claims. She said CNN hasn't heard back.

"Are you any closer to reconciling the differences here between statements from Sen. Nelson and the Florida secretary of state's office?" Bolduan asked.

"No, I mean, it looks like Nelson has got a little bit of egg on his face, on one hand," Smith said, "because there's no evidence; he's got a lot of supervisors of elections sort of pushing back and asking for clarification. On the other hand, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has been sounding this alarm for quite some time and pretty seriously."

Bolduan asked if Smith's "gut" tells him Nelson is mistaken or that he spoke about something real but classified.

"It sort of seems like he got ahead of his skis and maybe had gone a little far with classified information that he shouldn't have," Smith responded.

"If he turns out to be wrong, how much trouble is that for Nelson who's facing a tough re-election?" Bolduan asked.

Smith said it would give ammunition to Gov. Rick Scott (R.), who is challenging Nelson for his Senate seat, and that it "certainly doesn't help."

Published under: Bill Nelson , Florida