Russia has been interfering in elections since at least the first decade of the 20th century when they would bribe French newspapers to write favorable opinions of Russia and its alliance with France.
Modern technology has made it easier and it may not even cost as much because no bribes are required, just some social media accounts.
Of course, they’re probably also filtering money into GOP political campaigns as well.
It’s illegal for foreign governments to buy campaign ads or contribute money to political campaigns. It's also illegal for American politicians to knowingly accept such contributions.
The Russians have been doing it under fake identities and phony news organizations such as RT (formerly Russia Today), a Russian owned “news” agency that operates in Washington D.C. Media organizations are generally exempt from registering but RT was forced to register as a foreign agent in 2017.
The Russians spent at least $100,000 on Facebook ads targeted at specific audiences who then magnified the result by spreading the misinformation planted and they’ve probably heavily donated to Citizens United protected “Social Welfare Organizations” that can legally spend up to 50% of its money on politics and don’t need to identify its donors.
And you can be certain they’re still doing it. The Republicans don’t care because all of this illegal activity helps the GOP.
The Trump administration is clearly bought and paid for by the Russians and he’s paying them back. It’s as simple as that.
The problem as I see it is no matter how much evidence is provided that the GOP is essentially owned by the Russians, their base will still vote for them and refuse to ever accept they were ever duped.