Mollie hemingway at The Federalist notes in this rather old story:
Because of Trump’s kind words about Putin and Russia, Russia’s role in the hacking of Hillary Clinton-related emails, and the shock of Clinton’s loss forcing people to seek an explanation, a Russia narrative took off shortly after the election. “Shattered,” a new book about the 2016 Clinton campaign, helps explain a bit about why:
In other calls with advisers and political surrogates in the days after the election, Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss. ‘She’s not being particularly self-reflective,’ said one longtime ally who was on calls with her shortly after the election. Instead, Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia. ‘She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,’ this person said.
That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.
In Brooklyn, her team coalesced around the idea that Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio.
The Clinton campaign might not have been good at winning, but they were good at working with a largely compliant media. By December, the Russia narrative was set. Obama intelligence officials were leaking damaging information to prominent media outlets throughout the month, but things really got going in early January.
That’s when senior Obama intelligence officials leaked to CNN that they had briefed President-elect Trump on the existence of the “Russian dossier” full of compromising claims about him. This opposition research document had been floating around DC throughout the campaign but was not taken terribly seriously prior to the CNN report.
CNN’s story, bylined by Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein, was absolutely explosive. Headlined, “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him,” it could not have sounded worse.