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Donald Trump is spamming foreign politicians asking for money

British and Australian MPs have given short shrift to the fundraising emails, which appear to breach US electoral rules.

Presumptive Republican nominee for US president Donald Trump visits Scotland, where he has annoyed UK politicians with fundraising spam.
Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Politicians in the UK and Australia are complaining about fundraising emails from Donald Trump that appear to breach US electoral rules.

A number of members of the UK and Australian parliaments say they have received emails signed by Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr. The messages praise the UK's vote to leave the EU -- known as Brexit -- and entreat the reader for money to fund Trump's US presidential campaign.

Politicians in the UK and Australia have made their feelings clear about the emails. British MP Sir Roger Gale raised the matter in Parliament, saying, "I am all in favour of free speech, but I do not see why colleagues on either side of the House should be subjected to intemperate spam."

Natalie McGarry, MP for Glasgow East, shared the missive from Trump Jr. on social media, along with her response. "Quite why you think it appropriate to write emails to UK parliamentarians with a begging bowl for your father's repugnant campaign is completely beyond me," she wrote in her reply to the fundraising attempt.

"Given his rhetoric on migrants, refugees and immigration, it seems quite extraordinary that he would be asking foreign nationals for money," McGarry said, "especially people who view his dangerous divisiveness with horror."

The emails appear to be a clear-cut breach of electoral rules. The US Federal Election Commission regulations state that, "Contributions and donations may not be solicited, accepted, or received from or made directly or indirectly by, foreign nationals who do not have permanent residence in the United States."

The Trump campaign has not responded to a request for comment.

Likely Republican candidate Trump was mocked earlier this month when it emerged that he has substantially less money in his electoral war chest than rival Hillary Clinton. Still, Clinton can probably sympathise with Trump on the subject of email-related controversy: the presumptive Democratic candidate is under fire for using her own server to store confidential email during her time as Secretary of State.

This isn't Trump's first Brexit-related gaffe: arriving in Scotland to visit a golf course he owns, Trump tweeted that Scots had "taken their country back". In fact, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the EU.