The Russians did it.
It's not entirely clear from the non-classified materials we have seen so far just what the Russians did, but whatever was done appears to have been done by the Russians.
It is also not clear why the Russians did whatever it was they did.
The prevailing theory here in Our Nation's Capital is that Russian President Vladimir Putin was cranky with Hillary Clinton. When she was Secretary of State she accused Putin of having rigged the parliamentary elections in Russia.
According to an article in Politico.com by reporters Michael Crowley and Julia Ioffe last July:
"She said they were dishonest and unfair," Putin fumed in public remarks, saying that Clinton gave "a signal" to demonstrators working "with the support of the U.S. State Department" to undermine his power.
"We need to safeguard ourselves from this interference in our internal affairs," Putin declared.
The elections in question were in 2011. What national leader would hold a grudge for five full years?
Speaking of grudges, according to Twitter, President-elect Donald Trump has published approximately 34,300 Tweets. Thirty Four Thousand and change. He has 19.1 MILLION followers.
He follows 72 accounts. Not 72 hundred, or 72 thousand. Seventy Two.
Of those 72, 16 have "Trump" in their name - mostly hotel properties. Two more are Pence accounts. Two others are Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.
The reason I bored you with those Twitter facts is because this "What Did the Russians Do and When Did They Do It?" issue has been a particular target of Trump's recent Tweetings.
It may mark the first time Trump has been unable to move policy 140 characters at a time.
Trump's love affair with Putin is uncomfortable at best and un-American at worst.
President Obama didn't have the backbone to stand up to Putin. The invasion of Crimea, the constant intimidation of Ukraine and other former Soviet satellites, the anti-Israel resolution and, of course the whole Syrian tragedy has not been met by even the most modest posturing on the part of the President.
They've been met by crickets.
Even at that, Trump's billing and cooing over Putin and Russia makes Obama look like Ronald Reagan in comparison.
The British people tossed out a Prime Minister (Neville Chamberlain) and waved a fond goodbye to a whole King (Edward VIII) at least in part because of their fear of, or admiration for, Adolph Hitler - the Vladimir Putin of his day.
Chamberlain's declaration that he had negotiated "Peace for our time" after the Munich Conference of September 1938 lasted only until September 1939 when Germany attacked Poland whose independence Britain had pledged to protect.
Donald Trump, of all people, should understand that dictators like Putin see statements like this recent Trump Tweet:
"Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only 'stupid' people, or fools, would think that it is bad!"
The same way Trump would see it: As a weaker opponent begging not to have his lunch money taken away. Again.
Whether or not Americans believe Russian tinkering had an effect on the election (and I do not) is of no moment. What is important is that it appears that Trump thinks Americans believe that.
I have not seen, read, or heard of a single legitimate pollster, observer, columnist, or reporter say that absent Russian hacking, Hillary Clinton would have won. The only person that keeps bringing that up is Donald Trump.
But, the Russians tried to influence the election. There is not evidence (yet) that they broke into Hillary Clinton's private server (which is the massive black hole in the center of this political galaxy), but they certainly cracked the Democratic National Committee's computers. It appears to me that the DNC (and probably the Clinton campaign) were more worried about what else the FBI might find if they were given access than to take their lumps from having emails released.
So, they refused, and I believe as recently as last week have continued to refuse to allow the FBI to poke around in there.
Yesterday on a Sunday show, RNC (and incoming WH Chief of Staff) Reince Prebius said Trump now "accepts the fact that this particular case was entities in Russia."
So, a remake of the 1966 movie, "The Russians are Coming" about a Russian sub running aground in New England would have to be reshot in Brooklyn with the title, "The ?ussians Were Here."