It seems probable to me that Putin would like to have affected American elections, including congressional elections and all sorts of elections, including the presidential election.
It’s hard to know what his preferences would have been in this presidential election. His choices weren’t all that 'good". Hillary Clinton has proved herself a war-lover and a war-starter, and Putin could have worried about that. I would have if I was him.
On the other hand, Trump spoke in favor of a military buildup and put pressure on NATO countries to increase theirs. Putin couldn’t have favored that, and I wouldn’t if I was him.
I can see how Putin might have preferred Trump over Clinton. Clinton has seemed unstable to me, in thought and action if not in speech. Trump seems wild in speech but very rational and measured in what he actually does.
But I am not yet convinced that Russia actually engineered the Wikileaks disclosures. As we know, some intelligence people think they saw Russian “hack marks” on the DNC email server. But we also know “hack marks” can be faked so that Russia could make it look like a hack came from Iran, or vice-versa.
At the same time, it would not be surprising if Russia did hack the DNC, just as it is said they tried to hack the RNC. If Russia did, what did it accomplish? Maybe it disaffected a few Bernie Sanders people to learn how he had been stabbed in the back by the DNC for Hillary. Also it possibly disaffected a few faithful Catholics to learn how anti-Catholic the Dem party really is. But likely it didn’t increase the numbers greatly, because likely they were disaffected already anyway.
The Russians didn’t keep Hillary Clinton out of the “rust belt” states she didn’t visit and lost. They didn’t force her to take millions from Arab states that abuse women. They didn’t force Bill Clinton to accept hundreds of thousands in “speaking fees”. They didn’t force Hillary to tell coal miners she had some nice welfare for them in lieu of jobs. I say Hillary Clinton lost the election without needing any help from Putin to do it.
But it’s true Russian operatives are much more prevalent than we “peasants” really know. After all, our own intelligence services discover a spy now and then in their own ranks. I think we would be making a big mistake to imagine that even if Putin preferred Trump, he would remain “faithful” to him. Right now our intelligence services are in disarray, seemingly full of somebody’s moles and leakers. If they’re not Putin’s, then who are they? Maybe Putin likes the chaos he’s seeing in U.S. governance, and maybe George Soros is not alone in funding it.
This country is entirely capable of governing itself without the necessity of worrying more than usual about Russian penetration. But again, no matter what Putin thought about Hillary vs. Trump before, the Trump haters are now his allies in fact, if not in intent.