Former Trump campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos admitted that he misled FBI agents about his contact with Russians in order to protect President Donald Trump, a source with direct knowledge told ABC News.
Papadopoulos, who pled guilty to lying to the FBI in late October, apparently wanted to avoid contradicting Trump’s numerous public vows that no one on his campaign had any contact with Russian officials. He met with a professor with “deep ties” to Russia before he joined the Trump campaign, he claimed in his initial interviews with federal agents. In later meetings he admitted the timeline he presented was misleading.
“In truth and in fact,” court filings read, “the professor only took interest in defendant Papadopoulos because of his status with the Campaign.”
Trump immediately sought to downplay Papadopoulos’ role in the campaign after reports of his guilty plea emerged.
“Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George,” Trump told reporters.
The young campaign volunteer made several trips overseas in 2016 to meet with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic who promised Papadopoulos “dirt” on the Clinton campaign, according to emails acquired by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team.
Despite Trump campaign officials’ insistence that Papadopoulos was a mere “coffee boy,” new evidence has emerged that demonstrates he took numerous meetings with foreign officials on behalf of the campaign up until inauguration day.
Papadopoulos met with a British government official roughly two months before Trump took office, a British foreign service spokesman said Thursday.
“As you would expect in the run-up to an election, we seek to build links with figures in both the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. This type of outreach is normal diplomatic business,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Papadopoulos met with Israeli settlers around inauguration day and promised improved U.S.-Israeli relations, avideo obtained by The Jerusalem Post.
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