It's important to remember that the Intelligence Report just released wasn't only about hacking, which I may not have been clear about in my initial article, but all Russian efforts of disinformation. And for Trump to have said (and Kellyanne Conway to have followed up) that none of this had any impact on the results is ludicrous. And to repeat, the report itself *specfically says* that Intelligence Services made no effort to determine if there was an impact on the vote -- so for Trump, Conway et al to suggest otherwise is UNTRUE.
As for the question of "why" did Russia favor Trump, Rachel Maddow did a long, detailed report, the short version of which is that it was more a case of Putin's hatred of Hillary Clinton. It centered around when he ran for re-election as Russian president, the vote was close, and the Russian government blatantly manipulated the votes -- at which point Hillary Clinton made a public statement about along the lines about how Russians should demand that the vote be challenged. Putin used this as an excuse to insist she was inciting the Russian people (never mind that the point at which she made her statements there were already armed confrontations in the Russian streets) and has hated her since. And so, he preferred Trump to win as "pay back" to Secretary Clinton.
There, of course, might be other reasons, which Don notes, as well as others -- including that it seemed pretty clear he was far more maleable and much more easily manipulated, as well as having a predeliction towards Russia...and dictators.