Another book on the Trump presidency is coming out, and it won't be received well at the White House. In fact, it "promises to be incendiary," writes Jane Mayer at the New Yorker. The title should explain why: Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President—What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know. The author is University of Pennsylvania communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who has the reputation of being "scrupulously nonpartisan," writes Mayer. After an exhaustive analysis of online activity by Russian trolls, Jamieson says the conclusion is clear. As Mayer recounts: Asked "point-blank if she thought that Trump would be President without the aid of Russians, she didn’t equivocate. 'No,' she said, her face unsmiling. Clearly cognizant of the gravity of her statement, she clarified, 'If everything else is a constant? No, I do not.'"
In Jamieson's view, the Russians deftly swayed the unusually large number of undecided voters in the 2016 election not by bombarding them with entirely new pro-Trump messages but by amplifying themes from the Trump campaign about immigration, minorities, Muslims, and other hot-button topics. They did this in crucial states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, targeting typically Republican voters from church-going and military families who were otherwise reluctant to embrace Trump. "Jamieson told me that one of her greatest concerns is that voters were unaware of the foreign effort to manipulate them on social media," writes Mayer. "Had the public known, she believes, there likely would have been a significant backlash." Click for the full story. (Read more Longform stories.)