American intelligence has arbitrarily accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 US election process and for nearly two years, allegations of attempts to influence American democracy have been investigated by US special prosecutor Robert Mueller, “to break down the conspiracy theory between the Russian authorities and the Republican President (Donald) Trump.” In the end, Mueller admitted that there was no conspiracy and found no evidence of it.
A recurring narrative of denials which Moscow has issued regarding its involvement in the 2016 presidential election in the United States employing the long-established charge of Russophobia which the Kremlin uses to deflect criticism, however legitimate.
Before the Robert Mueller report was published, Russian meddling in the 2016 election had already been established by US intelligence agencies. Thus, the Special Investigation was primarily concerned with "whether any Americans […] joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election" (p.2).
Mueller makes clear in his report that "collusion" is not a legal concept under US federal law, and that gathering evidence thereof would have fallen outside the scope of the special counsel investigation (p. 2). In fact, the report explicitly identifies "numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign" (p. 9). A number of these individuals later "made false statements about those contacts and took other steps to obstruct" the probe (p. 180). The report's conclusions, therefore, do nothing to absolve the Russian government.
Regarding the exploitation of social media to interfere in the election, 13 Russian citizens have been criminally charged in the United States for conspiring to “sow discord in the U.S. political system,” including the 2016 presidential election.
Three Russian companies were also indicted by a federal grand jury. One of them is the infamous Internet Research Agency, a troll factory based in St. Petersburg.