What's the difference between the following and the "Russia did the hacking narrative" in Trump's mind?
The CIA has reportedly concluded with “high confidence,” after reviewing intelligence intercepts and other evidence, that Prince Mohammed ordered Khashoggi’s killing ....
... Trump wrote, “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
The fact of the matter is, Trump is absolutely right not to take the CIA's "high confidence" as any sort of proof. However, the difference between the Khashoggi murder and the hacking of the DNC and Podesta is two fold. First, there's vastly more evidence that the Saudis did it because even the Saudis admit that the Saudis did it. Plus, Mohammed was right in the thick of things concerning Khashoggi, even though there truly is no smoking gun (so far). Second, if the Russians did do the hacking, which is highly unlikely, they would have been doing a good thing because what the DNC and Podesta were up to was immoral, unethical, and I say, downright illegal. The American People are better off knowing what the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC and Podesta did (cheated).
If you will recall, during the Presidential debates with Clinton, Trump said that there has been no proof given that the Russians did the hacking. He was right about that. However, once he became President, he caved left and right to the neocons rather than fighting them and taking his case to the American People over and over and over until he convinced the vast majority of the People that the US deep state is a total mess and catastrophe.
It all comes down to money. MBS is still sitting on all that Saudi sweet, light crude that gets turned into US dollars. Trump sees personal-empire-building potential for his clan going forward, even though carbon fuel is on the way out and quickly.