The re-emergence of Russia as a military power and its annexation of Crimea has radically changed the US-Russian relationship.
The 2016 Presidential election was dogged by claims that the Russian state had covertly manipulated the campaign in order to achieve a win for Donald Trump – a candidate who was seen to be more favourable to Russia.
In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a report stating that they believed that Russian secret services hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hilary Clinton’s campaign manager in an attempt to destabilise their campaign and provide an advantage to their adversaries.
The FBI conducted an investigation into alleged links and financial ties between the Russian state and Donald Trump's associates. On 13 February 2018, the heads of the US intelligence agencies restated their belief in Russian interference.
Alongside, these suspicions of hacking, there were claims that thousands of fake social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter attempted to sway public opinion against Clinton and for Trump. In October 2017, Facebook admitted that as many as 126 million Americans may have been exposed to social media influence from Russian-based operatives.