The narrative does not depend on Putin's personal intervention, and I am quite sure that discrediting Trump is redundant. Democratic Party political theater is of course objectionable, but this really happened anyway - the Dems didn't make this up. Suppose we lived in wingnut fantasy world where Trump was a progressive and socialist and the trend in US politics was toward the the left and a Socialist State. In that alternative reality - quite different from anything found in recent events or existing trends or reasonable probability - almost anything could happen. The multiple connections between Trump and the Russian mob would be evidence in themselves, without the various little oddities in Trump's behavior (hiding his business connections with Russia, the advance info, etc) and the obvious timing issues (so unlike a staffer leak) and the RNC hacking sequestration. Russian agency is the most likely even without the various agencies weighing in. Meanwhile, the WMD lies did not come from those people. The WMD lies came from Republican Party propaganda operations, and Republican Party political honchos. That's who has the track record of this kind of lying - that's whose word you're taking.