Papadopoulos Addresses Key Question Looming Over Collusion Conspiracy Theory
- In an exclusive interview, George Papadopoulos says nobody on the Trump campaign asked him to follow up on a professor’s claims to know about Hillary Clinton emails.
- Papadopoulos says he cannot remember with absolute certainty if he told anyone on the campaign about the professor’s email comments.
- He says he is he certain he was never asked to retrieve or follow up on the email claim.
Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos says he is absolutely certain that he was not asked by the Trump campaign to retrieve stolen Hillary Clinton emails or to make contact with a mysterious professor who mentioned the pilfered documents at a meeting in London during the campaign.
“No one ever, ever, ever told me to go get emails or anything like that. That’s insane,” Papadopoulos told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview Thursday.
The question of what, if anything, Papadopoulos discussed with the campaign regarding Clinton emails has remained a mystery since the 31-year-old energy consultant pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s investigation in October 2017.
Papadopoulos told the FBI during a Jan. 27, 2017, interview that in April 2016, a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud told him he had information that the Russian government had possession of “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails. (RELATED: Papadopoulos Details His Interactions With ‘Spygate’ Figure And Steele Dossier Source)
Papadopoulos’s admission was widely viewed after the revelation of his plea deal as evidence of possible collusion involving the Trump campaign.
Papadopoulos caused a minor stir in an interview with CNN that aired just after his sentencing Sept. 7 when he said he could not completely rule out that he told someone on the Trump campaign about the emails. (RELATED: Papadopoulos Sentenced To 14 Days In Jail)
“As far as I remember, I absolutely did not share this information with anyone on the campaign,” Papadopoulos told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“I might have, but I have no recollection of doing so. I can’t guarantee. All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign.”
If Papadopoulos had indeed mentioned emails to the campaign, a full-blown conspiracy would seemingly involve a request to follow up with Mifsud about the Clinton dirt. But Papadopoulos adamantly denied being asked to retrieve emails or to reach back out to Mifsud.
“That never happened. Absolutely not,” Papadopoulos told TheDCNF.
Papadopoulos also said he did not see, handle or disseminate Clinton emails. He claims he believed that Mifsud was referring to 30,000 emails that Clinton had deleted from the private email server that she used as secretary of state.
While Papadopoulos is no longer widely viewed as the linchpin to a Trump-Kremlin conspiracy, that was not the case in July 2016. That’s when the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.
The catalyst was information from Alexander Downer, a top Australian diplomat who met Papadopoulos in London on May 10, 2016, two weeks after Papadopoulos’s meeting with Mifsud. Downer claimed that Papadopoulos mentioned that Russia had derogatory information on Clinton.
Papadopoulos has said he does not recall discussing emails with Downer. But he has acknowledged that he did tell Greece’s foreign minister during a meeting in late May 2016 about Mifsud’s claims regarding Clinton.
Papadopoulos told The New York Times he does not believe he told anyone on the campaign about the emails because “99 percent” of his communication with the Trump team was done over email. And he said he had no emails relaying the Mifsud claim to the campaign.
He noted that he was scheduled to have a phone call with Trump campaign official Stephen Miller a day after his meeting with Mifsud. Papadopoulos acknowledged that he “potentially” would have shared the Mifsud claim with Miller, if the phone call had occurred. The former Trump aide told TheNYT the phone call did not take place.