According to a review of Twitter data conducted by reporters at the Wall Street Journal, Russian Twitter accounts began supporting Trump all the way back in June of 2015 immediately after he announced his candidacy.
Russian Twitter accounts posing as Americans began lavishing praise on Mr. Trump and attacking his rivals within weeks after he announced his bid for the presidency in June 2015, according to the analysis by The Wall Street Journal. [...]
The Journal analyzed 159,000 deleted tweets from accounts that Twitter identified to congressional investigators as operated by the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency.
We've primarily focused on Russian support for Trump during the general election in 2016, but this obviously raises the prospect that Russia also helped Trump defeat Republicans during the primary season.
If Russian Twitter accounts were supporting Trump from the very beginning, I think we can safely presume their early intervention was not limited to Twitter. They've also been active on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Several high profile Republicans, most notably Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, didn't even make it to the first primary vote and I have to wonder if this may be one reason why.
With that said, I don't expect the idea that the Russians also conspired against them will give any Republicans pause. I have to be fair and say that Russian interference in the Democratic primary also doesn't appear to have given certain Democrats any pause.
Far too many people in this country are willing to believe virtually anything if it appeals to their tribal loyalty or if the target of misinformation is someone they hate.