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Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller concurs with the Intelligence Community's assessment that the Russian government carried out a sophisticated, multi-pronged campaign to interfere in the 2016 election, per Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing the investigation’s findings.

Why it matters: Absent a bipartisan effort to combat this threat, Russian meddling may continue to disrupt American democracy.

Background: Russia's meddling didn’t stop on election day in 2016. The Kremlin seeded disinformation to influence the 2018 midterm elections and may have sought to compromise electoral infrastructure.

  • Russia's campaigns spread propaganda and disseminate private information with the aim of sowing discord among Americans.

What's new: A social media campaign is already underway to spread falsehoods about 2020 presidential candidates, and it appears foreign state actors are behind at least some of that activity. Elements of the campaign resemble the information operations Russia has deployed to misinform and polarize voters.

What to watch: Per Barr's letter, more information on the results of Mueller’s investigation should be publicly released. That could help social media companies, journalists and national security professionals draw lessons for combating future interference.

Jessica Brandt is a fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the head of policy and research for its Alliance for Securing Democracy.

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Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

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President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.