“The headline: “US investigates potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.” To those unused to this kind of story, I can imagine that headline, from The Post this week, seemed strange. A secret Russian plot to throw a US election through a massive hack of the electoral system? It sounds like a thriller, or a movie starring Harrison Ford.

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“In fact, the scenario under investigation has already taken place, in whole or in part, in other countries. Quite a bit of the story is already unfolding in public; strictly speaking, it’s not “secret” or “covert” at all. But because most Americans haven’t seen this kind of game played before (most Americans, quite wisely, don’t follow political news from Central Europe or Ukraine), I think the scenario needs to be fully spelled out.

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“And what’s the downside for Trump? If he wins, he wins. If he loses—then there are all kinds of ways to make money from the “election was rigged” narrative. He could start a media company focused on the conspiracy. He could start a national movement. He could make movies. He could be a hero. Whatever happens, the political process is undermined, social trust plummets further and the appeal of US democracy, both at home and around the world, diminishes. And that, of course, is the point.”

Read—How Russia Could Spark a US Electoral Disaster