Aside from the president of the United States, almost no one denies that Russia mounted a serious and concerted effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential campaign. The Russians hacked into Democratic Party emails and gave what they obtained to WikiLeaks so that it could be released publicly to maximize the political damage to Hillary Clinton. They used social media to spread fictional stories meant to do the same. They made repeated attempts to engage the Trump campaign in a cooperative effort to undermine Clinton and help then-candidate Donald Trump. They attempted to hack into state voting systems.
And today we learn, in this report from Peter Stone and Greg Gordon of McClatchy, that they may have funneled money through the NRA to aid the Trump campaign.
This extraordinary possibility shows not just how comprehensive the Russian effort to get Trump elected was, but something else as well: The ways that Republicans have successfully changed our election laws in recent years have made us vulnerable to exactly this kind of foreign manipulation. And in their desire to protect the president, Republicans in Congress may prevent us from ever learning the full truth.