There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that indicates Russia had a strong hand in getting Donald Trump elected, reports Albert R. Hunt of Bloomberg. Kremlin-funded trolls spread anti-Hillary Clinton and pro-Trump messages on social media while Russian intelligence worked to get compromising information that could help Trump. This included leaks about the DNC favoring Clinton over Bernie Sanders and Clinton campaign emails. While Republicans deny it, Russia hugely affected the way the American populace thought about both candidates prior to the election. Trump can thank Putin for having gotten elected.
While Russia did interfere in the 2016 US election, it cannot be proven that it swung its result, argues Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight. James Comey’s letter to Congress about Hillary Clinton’s emails likely had a much bigger effect on the outcome. Similarly, the electoral college allowed Trump to win without needing to sweep the popular vote. Russian hacking efforts ran on a small budget that was unlikely to cause big waves. Ultimately, it was Clinton’s own failings, such as her email server scandal, that led to her loss. The DNC holding back Bernie Sanders only made things worse. For now, Russia’s influence was minimal.