A little-known adviser on the Trump campaign is a “person of interest” in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign.
North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate panel, told BuzzFeed that George Papadopoulos, a short-lived member of the campaign’s foreign policy team, is “definitely a person of interest” in the committee’s probe.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic vice chairman of the committee, echoed Burr’s statement, saying that the committee hopes to interview Papadopoulos, who was an adviser to Ben Carson’s campaign before joining the Trump team last March.
The Daily Caller has been told by people interviewed by the committee that staffers have asked about Papadopoulos, a 30-something energy consultant, during interviews as part of the Russia probe.
Investigators are looking into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives prior to the election, as well as whether Russia-connected figures attempted to infiltrate the campaign covertly.
Papadopoulos was in the news over the summer after it was revealed that he sent emails to several top campaign officials attempting to set up meetings between Trump and Russian government officials, including Vladimir Putin. (RELATED: Trump Campaign Adviser Suggested Meeting With Russians, But Was Shot Down By Sessions)
Papadopoulos’ attempts were shot down, campaign email traffic showed.
The Daily Caller was told that during the campaign’s first meeting after the formation of its national security team, held on March 31, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested that Trump, who was in attendance, meet with people in the Russian government.
The idea was quickly shut down by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who at the time served as an Alabama senator and chairman of the campaign’s national security advisory committee.
“Nope, not going there,” Sessions told Papadopoulos, according to one person who attended the meeting.
Since that report, TheDC has been told that Papadopoulos suggested that Trump meet with Russia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.
It is unclear whether Papadopoulos knows that ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko. He has not responded to numerous requests for comment over the past few months. The Russian embassy in London has also not responded to requests for comment. Papadopoulos appears to have some ties to London. His LinkedIn account lists him as a former director at the London Centre of International Law Practice.
TheDC has also been told that Papadopoulos is an acquaintance with Sergei Millian, the chairman of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce and an alleged source of some of the most serious allegations made in the infamous Trump dossier.
The Wall Street Journal and ABC News reported back in January that Millian is referred to as “Source D” and as “Source E” in the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele. Papadopoulos is not named in the dossier, which alleges that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian government operatives to influence the election. (RELATED: The Source Of The Most Salacious Claims In The Dossier Has Been Identified)