You know, just because someone somewhere said that the Russians hacked the election doesn’t mean that what we’re all discussing right now, in Congress and out, is whether the tabulation of the vote was accurate. So, if you want to be a complete asshole, you can write a whole column about how the vote counting process wasn’t tampered with. But no one gives a shit.
It’s almost as obnoxious to say that the Russians tried but failed to influence the election. Obviously they influenced it. The election absent the DNC and Podesta emails would have been different, and the same can be said for an election that lacked a concerted effort by a Russian army of bots and trolls who amplified negative stories about Clinton and even helped widely disseminate fake news that was damaging to her campaign.
The Russians didn’t commit crimes and invest all this effort and expense at great risk to their international relations and economic interests without knowing the potential upside could be huge.
I don’t know how you can look at a country that has Donald Trump as its president and see it as materially better off than Dresden in 1945. So, I don’t see failure. I see my nation carpet bombed, hollowed out, humiliated, and virtually defeated.
I’d call that influence.