Some things here are clear. The Putin administration was rooting for Donald Trump in the election and working to boost him in the polls. Email hacking aside, this is evident enough just from press coverage in the Kremlin’s English-language information service, RT. Justifiably, the Russian administration viewed Trump as a far more Russia-friendly US presidential candidate than Clinton.
However, let’s dial back our estimation of the Russian intelligence services. Unless it can be shown that US ballot counts themselves were hacked, we must conclude that Trump’s election was as much of a surprise for the Kremlin as it was for anyone else who was reading election forecasts. The primary aim of the Russian information campaign before the election was to delegitimize the presumptive winner, Clinton, by nurturing conspiracy theories about her. Trump’s win was in all likelihood an unexpected, but welcome, outcome.