Did the Kremlin Help Trump

Did the Kremlin help Trump?
(question from an aquaintence)

I have no idea if they helped or not. But they did a lot of “branding” of themselves as allies. This branding would have been a great tool if Trump had lost — especially if he lost with some controversy. Russia has been allying with political opposition groups for centuries — since before Soviet Time’s (read Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent). It’s what they do and they’re shockingly good at it.

But Trump didn’t lose. He won. Now this branding may hit the brickwall of geo-political reality.

The Kremlin’s priorities are:
1. Convince the Russian public that they are part of a strong country with a strong leader.
2. (related) Participate on the world stage as a superpower with a sphere of influence.