The people did not reject Hard Brexit in the election but the reason the Tories made it about that was to provide the legitimacy of the interpretation that the disastrous Tory election result was due to a rejection of a mandate for a Hard (= actual) Brexit.
The early election was called to destroy the idea of a Hard (= actual) Brexit as a viable possibility. The idea that it was all a mistake or that the disastrous campaign was accidentally badly managed is FALSE. It was all planned this way.
May followed orders calling the election and followed orders screwing up the campaign. She knew she was being sacrificed for the greater globalist plan to prevent Brexit as it was voted for in the referendum. Hard Brexit is dead, expectations have been lowered and now the way is clear to sell us some form of Soft non-Brexit bullshit. The globalists are determined that we must never leave the EU.