The FBI had at one point planned to pay former MI6 agent, Christopher Steele, to continue his work investigating ties between Donald Trump's election team and Russia, reports the Washington Post.

The law enforcement agency allegedly proposed the idea weeks before the election that saw Trump beat Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to the newspaper, people familiar with the deal said that no money had changed hands, and communications between Steele and the agency broke down as the dossier became the subject of news stories.

Steele's now infamous dossier became a global sensation on 10 January when it was published by Buzzfeed with the caveat that the allegations contained within were unverified. However, they were taken seriously enough by US intelligence that Trump and then-President Barack Obama were both briefed on the report's contents.

Included in the dossier were salacious rumours about Trump and prostitutes in Moscow, along with allegations of bribery in Russia by Trump and collusion between his inner circle and the Kremlin. After it was released, Trump called the dossier "fake news" and claimed it was a "political witch hunt".

The news that the FBI was willing to pay Steele further adds to the view that he is seen as a credible source of intelligence. After the report went public, Steele went into hiding.

US intelligence agencies had previously said that they believed that the hacking of the Democratic National Committee was ordered by senior Kremlin officials, and undertaken with the aim of helping Trump win the presidency.