President Trump claims he had the 'absolute right' to disclose to Russia's Sergei Lavrov what his critics regard as 'classified information' obtained from allied intelligence sources in co-operation with the global 'Five Eyes' surveillance apparatus. The media and opposition are seeing this as proof of the 'Russian conspiracy'.
The simplest explanation is the best. Trump simply does not know what he is doing, he's learning on the job and his domestic critics are both embittered and frustrated that a reality TV star did better than all the political establishment candidates they threw up to challenge and stop Trump getting into the White House.
It's 'alleged' he gave classified info away on counter-terrorism, information gained from allies in The Middle East. There is a powerful Saudi lobby in US politics that might be worried as he's off to Riyadh soon and there might be hostility to Trump in these quarters. Given Trump's support for the Saudis, it's unlikely.
Trump is incompetent. The Russian conspiracy is just about pretending Russia is to blame for their system being dysfunctional and throwing up a complete cretin as President. They need to frame it as a Russian conspiracy to make the US establishment seem 'credible' compared to Trump the intruder from the outside.
Articles such as this are full of insinuation about 'Trump's collusion with Russia'. This is the necessary myth because the US is branded a 'liberal democracy' ready to spread its values across the globe and was thwarted only when that great champion of democracy against evil dictators known as Hillary Clinton.
Trump was praised when he did a 180 degree spin from stating he would be prepared to work with Russia and Syria wasn't 'our business' to being a staunch interventionist overnight when he used Assad's alleged gas attack as a pretext to upgrade America's bargaining strength by firing missiles at Assad's airbase.
Hillary meanwhile preempted Trump as a sort of deranged shadow president in fantasising maniacally about taking out his entire air force in ways that could have ratcheted up the carnage in the name of 'our values' to an even higher level than it has already. As bad as Trump is, his response could have been far worse.
Trump is not 'Putin's puppet'. This accusation is just a means to position herself more favourably with a US public that is largely naïve about how global power politics works and that wants to believe its foreign policy is more moralised than that of post-Cold War Russia and committed to democracy rather than resource interests.
President Trump has made it more obvious that the US is run at the top by an oligarchy with a controlled democratic component and that is bad for US 'public diplomacy'. This is what makes Trump a threat, he's too stupid to play the public diplomatic game and maintain the pretence upon which US 'credibility' has been based.
Hillary Clinton is very much attached to Saudi lobbyists. The national security state interests that both she, embittered and deranged by her failure as she is, and the rest of the establishment media are concerned to uphold require Trump be made a Putin stooge. For Saudi Arabia is hostile to Putin's Russia.
That is clear where their geopolitical interests clash as over Syria. But Trump, while wanting a 'hard headed' realpolitik relation with Russia, is also very much pro-Saudi to the point he might be swayed into ratcheting up hostilities with Iran. This could happen if he needs to overcompensate for having blurted out secrets to Lavrov.
Trump is clearly incompetent but he is not a 'Russian stooge'. It is just that Russian diplomacy and geopolitics has been more successful than America's in recent years and that was clear under Obama and his failed policies towards Syria, first formulated by none other than Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
Blaming Trump for Russian diplomatic successes is going to be convenient as he can be discredited as a scapegoat for broader US domestic and foreign policy failures, the better to reposition those elites who want a reversion again to business as usual and to cover up their own trail of failed policies and dysfunctional aggression.
NB Update 9,30. The intelligence is now said to have come from Israel.