Russian Interference ‘Very Likely’ Won Trump the Presidency: Report

A new book suggests that Russian interference “very likely” won Donald Trump the 2016 presidential election, largely by convincing on-the-fence voters in battleground states to either switch their vote or not vote at all. The New Yorker reports Monday that Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President—What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know, analyzes polling data alongside Russian interference tactics and concludes that all other things being equal, Trump wouldn’t be president without help from Russian hackers. The book, written by University of Pennsylvania Prof. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, highlights the role of the WikiLeaks email dump, noting that the messages provided by Russian hackers that were released just ahead of the second presidential debate allowed Trump, the media, and debate monitors alike to take Hillary Clinton’s words out of context and paint her as untrustworthy. Hall also emphasizes that the email dumps obscured news that would have been more favorable to Clinton, including Obama’s announcement of Russia’s attempt to hack the election, and Trump’s Access Hollywood tapes. Furthermore, she notes Russian agents stole internal voter data from the Clinton campaign and used it to target voters who were waffling on voting for her. “I’m not arguing that Russians pulled the voting levers,” Hall told The New Yorker. “I’m arguing that they persuaded enough people to either vote a certain way or not vote at all.”