COMMENT:

We were all over it, I thought. We didn't have room for even one more titbit concerning Donald Trump's venality and idiocy.

Then, as so often, he outdid himself. Last week at a summit in Helsinki between Trump and the leader of the United States, the former publicly sided with a foreign power against his own, not insubstantial, intelligence service.

Asked about possible Russian interference in the election that brought him to power, Trump said: "I don't see any reason why it would be."

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Then – back in the US and out from under the gaze of his patron – he backtracked. It turns out he "misspoke". The American people can relate to that – especially the millions who misvoted.

Misspoke is an odd word, but it's perfect for politicians because it avoids having to say "lie" or "completely got it wrong", which is what it always means but they can never admit.

"I think that probably clarifies things," concluded Trump. Well, not really, because all the other anti-American, pro-Russian statements he made went unclarified.

Things were less surreal back in the old days, when he just kept repeating the lies until everyone else gave up.

What does the Russian president have on him? Why does Trump slobber over a murderous, corrupt thug like Putin instead of just grabbing him by the Pussy Riot?

The most prevalent and plausible theory is that there really is a pee tape or similar that would embarrass Trump if it were revealed. Implausible. To believe this, we'd have to believe he has an embarrassment threshold. Or that he could be any further compromised, with his record of fraud, lying and behaviour towards women.

Asked directly at the post-summit press conference if his country had compromising material concerning a hotel room in his country that apparently didn't have much in the way of indoor plumbing, Putin spoke directly to the reporter.

"Well, distinguished colleague, let me tell you this: When President Trump was at Moscow back then, I didn't even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow."

Fascinating stuff. And completely lacking in any denial that there is compromising material safely tucked way somewhere. Blackmail has been the Soviet and KGB way since whenever, and Putin is KGB to the core.

Putin wants to subvert Nato and divide western Europe. Who better to lend a hand than the president of Nato's most powerful member?

What will be in it for Trump long term? Apparently sane commentators have started speculating that, post-presidency, Trump will retire to a lavish Russian estate with all the gold trimmings of which he is so fond: "Welcome, distinguished Mr Trump – please, in back room is much treasure of tsars. Help yourself."

All bullies are cowards at heart. Trump in Helsinki behaved not like someone with a fellow world leader but like a schoolboy trying to ingratiate himself with the playground alpha male.

Whatever rewards await, for now he'll have to make do with the ball Putin gave him as a gift. What a shame he didn't give him two, because then he'd have a pair.

T​here has been much comment about Trump's severe case of lèse majesté in the company of Queen Elizabeth II.

Against all protocol, he marched on ahead of her at a public event, leaving the nonagenarian monarch ducking and diving in his substantial wake.

Many were offended on her behalf, but my guess is the Queen would have loved it. After all, at her age, she probably thought she'd seen everything.