$100 Million and Ethically Questionable.

Ivanka Trump participates in a presentation ceremony of The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal to President Donald Trump at the Royal Court Palace, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Oh, palace intrigue, it never ends. Once again, a deal struck now reverberates back to the Tiny Tyrant condemning something done by others, but it’s okely dokely for him and his family. Y’know, Donny has to absolutely love it there, in spite of that little curtsy gaffe, look at all that gilt! Is it too much to hope he’ll stay?

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million to the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, an initiative proposed by first daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump. The fund, which was first announced in April, has already raised serious legal and ethical questions about how a White House adviser can both shape foreign policy and actively solicit donations from foreign countries for the fund.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the initiative would provide technical assistance and investments for projects that support the economic empowerment of women around the globe. Ivanka Trump does not control the money, though she first pitched the idea to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and has discussed the idea with leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On Sunday, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim praised “Ivanka’s leadership” in spearheading the fund, and called it “a stunning achievement.”

Getting people to shovel money your way is a handy talent, no doubt. A stunning achievement, though? Oh, I don’t think so. Could the bar for this family possibly be lower?

President Donald Trump was extremely critical of Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the Clinton Foundation while campaigning against Hillary Clinton, going so far as to call for Clinton to return all the money given to the foundation, both in speeches on the campaign trail and during the October presidential debate.

Credit: Facebook.

Donald J. Trump: Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries.

“You talk about women and women’s rights. These are people that push gays off business — off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly, and yet you take their money,” Trump said during the debate. “So I’d like to ask you right now. Why don’t you give back the money that you’ve taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? Why don’t you give back the money. I think it would be a great gesture.”

The Clinton Foundation received between 10 and 25 million from Saudi Arabia. Gosh, that’s barely a peach pit next to 100 million, isn’t it? Naturally, Trump has not brought up receiving that amount of money from Saudia Arabia, because now that sort of thing is just fine. Great, in fact.

Think Progress has the full story.

15 Million Dollars.

Chemical warfare, Turtle Island, Oceti Sakowin Camp, November, 2016. © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

New York Daily News writer Shaun King obtained audio where Energy Transfer Partners freely admitted that they worked closely with the Sheriff’s Association, and wow, did they ever. They became one and the same.

Water protectors who lived at camp can attest to ETP and law enforcement’s collusion and fraternization, but the record speaks for itself.

The Sheriffs’ Association has a $3.46 million dollar budget, according to tax forms. Some of this funding comes from corporate sources, like TigerSwan. TigerSwan maintains offices in Iraq and Afghanistan. TigerSwan’s CEO is a former adviser to the multinational private security firm, Blackwater. Blackwater was founded by Erik Prince, a Trump campaign donor and the brother of Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education. Besides funding the Sheriff’s Association, TigerSwan is in charge of Dakota Access intelligence and supervising overall security for the company. Tigerswan works for Dakota Access, while funding and partnering with the Sheriffs’ Association.

The Sheriff’s Association purchased military gear from the U.S. Department’s Defense Logistics Agency thanks to the Defense Department’s 1033 program. Think corporate welfare for the defense industry.

Wait, there’s more. Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren offered to reimburse North Dakota and Morton County for costs due to defending the Dakota Access Pipeline.

So why are U.S. taxpayers forking over $15 million dollars to North Dakota?

Despite the fossil fuel industry’s wishes, America is not an oil company with an army. We should not be bankrolling our own oppression.

Incidentally, the Dakota Access Pipeline is not even operational yet, and it’s already sprung a leak in South Dakota, just southwest of the Lake Traverse Reservation. End this foolishness.

Ruth Hopkins at Indian Country Today has the full story.

Like A Cat Covering Shit.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh.

By now, most people are aware that the Tiny Tyrant divulged classified information to the visiting Russians, and Mr. Tweet has had a whirlwind of justifications over it all, he can do whatever the fuck he wants because president! Yeah. The whole mess, and the tweets, are detailed at Think Progress, along with the standard problems in what passes for thought in Trump. The Fucking Idiot not only undercut all his aides by admitting to leaking all over the place, he’s been bragging about it, even to the point of referring to said leakage as humanitarian. Trump wouldn’t know humanitarian if it jumped up and gnawed his face off.  Why on earth anyone would be surprised by this, I don’t know. It’s all too standard behaviour on the Tiny Tyrant’s part. Nathan also has a good piece on the leaking of classified material.

Of more concern, I would say, is the journalistic rush to report that rethuglicans are pulling away from the wannabe dictator now, but unfortunately, that is not so, and this is no time to become complacent, and think they are going to kick his plush arse to the curb.

Source: NYT.

“Questions and concerns” do not mean jack shit when it comes to rethuglicans. It’s a handy, shopworn phrase tossed out to make them sound like they have the same concerns as all us peons, but they don’t. They are interested in two things: covering their asses, and more importantly, protecting their wallet and the various things which feed it. Think Progress has a breakdown of the actual sentiment right now.

And, Politico reports on the shambolic mess that is Trump House, where people are running about like chickens with heads cut off, not having the slightest idea of what is going to happen. Also per usual, Trump is like a cat jumping in a box, furiously digging in an attempt to cover up stinking shit, spraying sand and shit particles all over the place. There will be a shake up! There will be a reorganization! Oh hey, we have a trip coming up, and everyone will forget about Comey and leakage, you betcha!

An Echo from The Past: The Four Horses of Calumny.

The Calumny of Appelles, Sandro Botticelli, 1494.

Coincidentally, it was another woman — a Republican — Margaret Chase Smith, senator from Maine, who in 1950 dared speak out against the outrages of Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) as he attempted to trash the country much the way that Trump desires now. “I speak as an American,” she said. “I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny — fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear.”

By their silence, most of today’s Republicans are trying to do just that. They will allow Trump to keep making outrageous statements and decisions, permit him to continue batting out his malicious tweets and project onto others the malevolent thoughts and deeds that really are his own. Together they will continue to malign upstanding Americans like Sally Yates.

For now, at least. Because as noted in the book after which the Profile in Courage award is named, a true democracy ultimately recognizes right. We live in hope

Sally Q. Yates did what was right. So shines a good deed in a weary world. Maybe we should demand that she be made special prosecutor or put her in charge of that independent commission to investigate Trump and Russia. Talk about righteous symmetry.

Good reminder, good reading.

And The Hole Gets Deeper…

The Unpresident returning from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster.

And a whole lot more batshit. The Tiny Tyrant is now what could be charitably described as wholly unglued. He seems to have decided that open threats are good, because hey, why not piss off the FBI? Even staunch rethuglicans are now cringing and diving for cover, as Donnie’s, um, swamposity goes full court florid.

James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

Jesus. Dude, everyone knows you’re doing a bit of “leaking” over the investigations, because you’re guilty. This sort of shit isn’t going to help. Well, it may help most of us here in uStates, because you’re doing an actually good job at getting the impeachment train going. So congrats on that one, I guess.

Naturally, the Twitterati are busy weighing in on this one, too. You can see more here.

More in the ongoing clusterfuck:

‘It’s complete bananas’: FBI agents rushing to complete Russia probe before ‘orange blob’ can kill it.

‘The president is not correct’: FBI sources dispute Trump claims about dinner meeting with Comey.

Trump whines it’s ‘not possible’ for busy White House to give information ‘with perfect accuracy’.

REVEALED: Trump demanded Comey’s loyalty one day after Yates informed the White House of Flynn’s FBI interview.

Trump demanded loyalty from FBI director James Comey — ‘Comey demurred’ and then he was fired: NYT.

What a fun way to start your Friday, eh?

Aaaaaaand, a bit more:

Comey furious over Trump team’s smear campaign — and he’s prepared to respond: report.

Comey eager for Trump to release those tapes: ‘There’s nothing he’s worried about’.

“This Guy’s A Mobster.”

Donald Trump, by Jason Mecier.

Stating the obvious…

Henry said he would need more information about the FBI investigation and details from FISA warrants to see what was happening — but he has already been exploring Trump’s ties to organized crime.

“There’s a third camp, which is stuff I have been working on, is the organized crime,” Henry said. “This guy’s a mobster. He has all these dodgy business partners. He knew or should have known that they were involved in organized crime, money-laundering, racketeering. That’s pretty hard to deny. We see the people he’s been in business with. We see the deals over and over again. It’s in plain sight. That’s the theory I’ve been working on.”

“You could make a case on good old-fashioned criminal law — if you had a prosecutor,” he added.

Full story here.

They Tricked Us!

The photo of Sergey Lavrov, Donald Trump, and Sergey Kislyak you weren’t supposed to see. CREDIT: Russian Foreign Ministry Photo via AP.

In a stark illustration of the sheer idiocy of the regime, the Tiny Tyrant is having an overwrought tantrum over Russia publishing photos of the “secret” meeting yesterday, in which uStates press was barred, but Russian press was allowed. There was a cameraman there. With a camera. What did they think they were going to do with the photos? Paste them in their fan book? The incoherent scream tumbling from the white house is “they tricked us!” I have news you for ya, fellas. If that’s tricking you, you deserve it, with bells on.

On Wednesday, President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the White House. Now the administration is “furious” that TASS, the Russian state-owned news agency, has published photos of the meeting.

There’s no shortage of theatrics leading up to the White House’s reactions.

First, the meeting was only supposed to be with Lavrov. Only Lavrov was scheduled to be in attendance, and only Lavrov was mentioned in the official White House readout of the meeting. Thus, it’s only because of the Russian agency’s photos that the public knows Kislyak was also present.

The White House shrugged off Kislyak’s presence, noting there’s nothing suspicious about meeting with an ambassador in the Oval Office.

Jim Acosta: Official pushed back on critics who slammed Kislyak in Oval: “It is ridiculous to say that an ambassador can’t meet with the president…”

But this ignores a significant amount of context. The meeting took place the morning after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. That firing came at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had supposedly recused himself from the investigation because he didn’t disclose meetings he had with Kislyak while he was serving as a Trump campaign surrogate.

With little believable explanation available for why Trump fired Comey except for his role the Russian investigation, it’s particularly conspicuous that Kislyak would then be in the Oval the very next day. Moreover, an ambassador meeting with the President is far more suspicious when the White House seems to intentionally try to hide it. And now the administration is “furious” that TASS published photos that are the only way anyone even knows Kislyak was present for the meeting.

A second aspect of the theatrics is the fact that when journalists were eventually invited into the Oval, neither Lavrov nor Kislyak were present. Instead, Trump was unexpectedly meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The optics of this are rather incredible. Many lawmakers and pundits had spent much of the previous 24 hours comparing Trump’s firing of Comey to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” when he fired an attorney general and a deputy attorney general because they wouldn’t remove the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. Kissinger was not implicated in Watergate, but it was still rather surprising Trump would have a surprise meeting with the man who served as Nixon’s Secretary of State and National Security Adviser. They discussed “Russia and various other matters,” according to the pool report.

The rest of this most interesting story of incompetent stealth and tantrums is at Think Progress.

What A Fuckin’ Mess Roundup.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks up during a meeting about healthcare at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque.

What a clusterfuck the regime does weave. This isn’t the proverbial web woven by lies and deception, it’s more like the spit-cement cocoons in Alien. There’s a whole lot of clusterfuck out there, here’s some of it.

If you haven’t quite figured out WTF yet, a good run down of recent events is here: James Comey, Donald Trump, Russiagate and the Mother’s Day Massacre.

Going with the theme of highly suspicious timing: Trump to meet Russia’s Lavrov day after Comey firing.

Naturally, Mr. Tweet appeared in a whirlwind to blame Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for, well, everything.

They fired Sally Yates. They fired Preet Bharara. And they fired James Comey.’ Yes, they certainly did, and that should make the need for an independent prosecutor clear, but I expect that will be another fight all on its own.

Kellyanne Whatsherface is back with “inappropriate to question the almighty Trumpety” and alternative facts, upsetting both Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper.

Conservative Rick Wilson begs GOP to get off the ‘mindless, soulless Trump Cult Train’ after Comey firing.

Trump advisers at heart of Russia probe celebrate Comey’s firing: “Somewhere Dick Nixon is smiling.”

The most powerful reactions to Trump’s abrupt firing of the FBI director: “We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis.”

The two things you need to know about the Comey firing: Trump is an authoritarian. But Comey is a rank incompetent.

I think that’s enough Alien spit cocoons for now.

Oh, I guess not, a few more to add to the spit pile:

BOMBSHELL: Comey sought ‘significant increase’ in resources for Russia probe days before firing.

Trump excludes US media from meeting with Russian ambassador — but Russian state news allowed in.

‘Game of Thrones for morons’: Bannon-McMaster feud reaches new heights.

‘President Putin can fire anybody’: Federal official says Comey ouster is absolutely about Russia.

What Clapper actually said…

The Unpresident returning from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster.

The Tiny Tyrant was utterly creamed in the Russia hearings, and he has reacted by firing James Comey. As everyone on the planet will note, yes, Comey needed firing, ages ago, but the timing here is rotten all the way through. It seems the Tiny Tyrant’s method of dealing with the landslide of shit is simply going to be firing people. Naturally, Mr. Tweet has appeared once again, with yet another blatant lie, the only thing which seems to reside in our wannabe dictator’s skull. So, a Pants On Fire! check…

President Trump took to Twitter to try and tamp the whole thing down.

But the first of four tweets Trump published about the hearing made a claim that was undermined earlier in the day by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who testified alongside Yates.

“Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is ‘no evidence’ of collusion w/ Russia and Trump,” the president tweeted.

This, however, is not what Clapper said on Monday.

On March 4, Clapper went on Meet the Press, and was asked by Chuck Todd if he’s aware of evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

“Not to my knowledge,” Clapper replied.

Just over two weeks later, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia. That same day, Trump seized upon Clapper’s Meet the Press remark to try and undercut the notion he’s involved in a scandal.

[…]

On Monday, however, Clapper clarified that his Meet the Press comment wasn’t meant to give people the idea he had direct knowledge of Comey’s investigation and had concluded it hadn’t uncovered evidence of collusion. Instead, he said he just wasn’t aware that Comey was investigating.

From Mother Jones:

At Monday’s hearing, Clapper pulled this rug out from under the White House and its comrades. He noted that it was standard policy for the FBI not to share with him details about ongoing counterintelligence investigations. And he said he had not been aware of the FBI’s investigation of contacts between Trump associates and Russia that FBI director James Comey revealed weeks ago at a House intelligence committee hearing. Consequently, when Clapper told Todd that he was not familiar with any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, he was speaking accurately. But he essentially told the Senate subcommittee that he was not in a position to know for certain. This piece of spin should now be buried. Trump can no longer hide behind this one Clapper statement.

Instead of reassuring Trump, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) said Clapper being kept in the dark about the FBI investigation should worry the president.

There’s much more at Think Progress. It’s important to spread this far and wide, because in spite of everything, Trump is still tweeting that Clapper cleared  him, contrary to all evidence and facts.

*Strikeouts are mine.

Those Primitive Indians Just Don’t Understand, No.

Obama Legacy; Bears Ears National Monument.

The Fight for Bears Ears has been going on for a very long time; people have been happy with Pres. Obama’s protective national monument status. Now the GOP is arguing that us dumb Indians, gosh, we just don’t understand. If places are declared national monuments, it will seriously impact our primitive lives, and we wouldn’t be able to do native stuff, like gather firewood, so um, just give us the land, and everything will be great! There really isn’t deep enough mockery for these arrogant colonialists.

Speaking alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about the Trump administration’s order to review — and potentially shrink or eliminate — nearly 30 national monuments, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Native Americans were “manipulated” into their support for the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument southeastern Utah.

“The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness,” Hatch said on Sunday. “Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land… Just take my word for it.”

Oh, right. We should just take the word of a white man. Gosh, that’s worked so well in the past.

Hatch’s dismissal of native voices is not only condescending, it is incredibly inaccurate in the case of Bears Ears. Protections for Bears Ears were nearly 80 years in the making. Most recently, the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, which brought together five tribal nations, pushed for the protection of the Bears Ears region. After the group received no substantial response from the Utah Congressional delegation about protecting the area, the group opted to propose that President Barack Obama should create a national monument, which he did in December 2016.

[…]

But variations of Hatch’s argument have been routinely made by critics of the national monuments — namely, Republican politicians in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has long purported that a national monument would get rid of critical tribal activities, such as firewood gathering. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) similarly stoked fears that the federal government would seize native American land for the monument. Utah state legislator Mike Noel (R), who is looking to join the Trump administration, launched an investigation into the tribal support of a Bears Ears National Monument, calling it a “charade.”

These accusations are part of a continued misinformation campaign targeting tribal members that started during the lead-up to the monument designation. In the summer of 2016, flyers meant to antagonize local Navajo were found posted around towns adjacent to the now national monument. One of the flyers impersonated an Interior Department press release that claimed the government would be taking over four million acres of Navajo reservation land. Others suggested the national monument would ban firewood gathering and Native American access.

Think Progress has the full story.

A Legion of Dictator Superheroes and A Good Shutdown!

Spider-Gwen.

Today’s round-up of awful. More people are bringing up the Tiny Tyrant’s mental state, and it’s not any sort of shady speculation, this is not something we can afford to ignore, and I’m past tired of all the left-sided prim of “you can’t do that, it’s not nice.” It’s not nice, or healthy to have an unstable wannabe tyrant in charge of the country, with access to military and nuclear weapons, either. Trump’s narcissism is bad enough, but his continued disconnected rambling, temper flare-ups, and decision making based on whims in increasing, and it continues to be clear that exactly no one has a leash on the Tiny Tyrant. Trump admires Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ for fuck’s sake. Wake up.

Howard Fineman said President Donald Trump seems to be under the impression that he can meet with the world’s worst dictators and “cut a deal” with them like it was a business transaction.

On a day when Trump said he would be “honored” to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un –and a day after he extended an invitation to Philippines strongman Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House — Fineman said that Trump thinks dealing with dictators is like making a real estate deal.

“Donald Trump is analogizing world affairs to a real estate deal in New York,” Fineman explained. “He’s trying to get everybody in the room, however much he dislikes them, however much it’s like the unions he didn’t like or politics he had to donate to or whatever, and he’s creating in his own mind a legion of dictator superheroes of some kind because he thinks it’s a jungle out there.”

“He was put off by what he regarded as Barack Obama’s overweening idealism and he’s going to go in just the opposite direction and he will literally go to every bad actor in the world,” Fineman continued. “He thinks he’s creating — will get all the bad guys in the room at the same time and somehow cut a deal. I think that’s his mentality.”

Fineman has a very good point here. That point is validated by the fact that Trump is up to his neck in a lucrative deal with Duterte in the Phillipines, so why wouldn’t Trump view everything in terms of business which is good for him? He has no interest in what is good for America, let alone the rest of the world. I don’t think Trump is even capable of understanding the world as a connected, cohesive whole. He only sees one bit at a time, and primarily those bits which can make him money. Full Story Here.

Politico has an in-depth look at the interviews, and the sheer amount of WTFuckery involved:

President Donald Trump questioned why the Civil War— which erupted 150 years ago over slavery — needed to happen. He said he would be “honored” to meet with Kim Jong-Un, the violent North Korean dictator who is developing nuclear missiles and oppresses his people, under the “right circumstances.”

The president floated, and backed away from, a tax on gasoline. Trump said he was “looking at” breaking up the big banks, sending the stock market sliding. He seemed to praise Philippines strongman President Rodrigo Duterte for his high approval ratings. He promised changes to the Republican health care bill, though he has seemed unsure what was in the legislation, even as his advisers whipped votes for it.

And Monday still had nine hours to go.

“It seems to be among the most bizarre recent 24 hours in American presidential history,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian. “It was all just surreal disarray and a confused mental state from the president.”

The interviews — published by Bloomberg, Face the Nation and the SiriusXM radio network — seemed timed to the president’s 100-day mark but contained a dizzying amount of news, even for a president who often makes news in stream-of-consciousness comments. Trump’s advisers have at times tried to curb his media appearances, worried he will step on his message. “They were not helpful to us,” one senior administration official said. “There was no point to do all of them.”

White House officials said privately there was no broader strategy behind the interviews. GOP strategists and Capitol Hill aides were puzzled by it all. “I have no idea what they view as a successful media hit,” said one senior GOP consultant with close ties to the administration. “He just seemed to go crazy today,” a senior GOP aide said.

Full Story Here.

And if all that isn’t worrying enough, the Fucking Idiot wants a shutdown, so he can change the rules of democracy. Wheeeeeee, you havin’ fun yet?

President Trump on Tuesday called for a “good shutdown” in September to fix the “mess” in government.

He also expressed frustration that legislation needs 60 votes in the Senate because of the filibuster, saying it would be necessary to elect more Republicans or “change the rules.”

“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We … either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Full Story and Tweets Here.

Trump Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About. Shocker.

Donald Trump (CPAC)

Oh here’s a big ol’ shocker – the Tiny Tyrant is running his mouth without the slightest hint of knowledge behind it. Mr. Tweet had a Twitter frenzy this morning, screeching out “Obamacare is dead!” and other shite. He kept spewing shit in an interview, making it as plain as could be that he doesn’t have the slightest idea of what comprises his “great new healthcare plan”. Fucking idiot.

In an interview with Face The Nation’s John Dickerson that aired Sunday, it appeared that President Donald Trump did not fully understand what was in the latest version of the Republican health care bill.

When Dickerson pushed Trump to acknowledge why there are critics of the bill, noting higher premiums for older people, Trump interrupted him to say that issue was fixed. Throughout the interview, Trump insisted that the latest version of the bill addressed all of the problems Dickerson mentioned, even though the bill has only become worse for low-income people, older people and people with pre-existing conditions.

When Dickerson asked Trump explain how higher premiums were “fixed” under the new health care bill, he didn’t have an answer.

Think Progress has the full story. Honestly, this level of incompetence should be an automatic disqualification.

Collusion: The Trump Campaign and Moscow.

Reports of possible collusion between the Trump administration and the Kremlin have led to a political storm in the US. Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP.

The Guardian has the latest on British intelligence which highlights yet more collusion on the part of Trump and Russia.

The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to court papers.

Reports by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, on possible collusion between the the Trump camp and the Kremlin are at the centre of a political storm in the US over Moscow’s role in getting Donald Trump elected.

It was not previously known that the UK intelligence services had also received the dossier but Steele confirmed in a court filing earlier this month that he handed a memorandum compiled in December to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form”.

The court papers say Steele decided to pass on the information he had collected because it was “of considerable importance in relation to alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election”, that it “had implications for the national security of the US and the UK” and “needed to [be] analysed and further investigated/verified”.

The December memo alleged that four Trump representatives travelled to Prague in August or September in 2016 for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers”, about how to pay hackers secretly for penetrating Democratic party computer systems and “contingency plans for covering up operations”.

Between March and September, the December memo alleges, the hackers used botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data online from Democratic party leadership. Two of the hackers had been “recruited under duress by the FSB” the memo said. The hackers were paid by the Trump organisation, but were under the control of Vladimir Putin’s presidential administration.

The Guardian has the full, in-depth story.