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Rubio says Russians hacked his Senatorial staff

Comments came during Intel Committee hearings on Russian cyber-threats

April 02, 2017 - 9:24 pm
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (by Alan McBride/FLA. NEWS NETWORK) -- The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has begun holding hearings into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

One of the Senators discussing the issue was Florida Republican Marco Rubio, who dropped a bombshell in hearings Thursday.

Rubio asserted that, after dropping out of the presidential race and announcing his decision to run for re-election as a Senator, people involved with his presidential campaign got some unwelcome cyber-visitors.

"Former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russia," Rubio told the committee, adding that the attempted penetration of the architecture was unsuccessful.

He added that things didn't stop then and there, either.

In Thursday's hearing, Rubio added, "I would also inform the committee within the last 24 hours, at 10:45 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday), a second attempt was made, again, against former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to our internal information -- again targeted from an IP address from an unknown location in Russia. And that effort was also unsuccessful."

Rubio's comments followed testimony from a cybersecurity authority who said that it wasn't just the Clinton campaign that had been the target of hacking and disinformation.

Republican challengers to Donald Trump, Rubio included, were targeted by Russian assets, according to the assertions.

Analysts are citing what appears to be a strategy of everything from hacking to the release of false politically-charged news stories by instruments with strong ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Analysts add that the influence has reached into faking political support groups within the social media communities.

Senate officers presiding over the hearings say such purported interference cuts at the heart of this nation's institutions.

Senate Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, has stressed that it is the job of his chamber to "follow the truth wherever it takes us."

There has been a clear and determined move in the Senate to ensure an atmosphere of bi-partisan involvement in the process of its hearings.

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