Former Donald Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told ABC News that his testimony may have “moved toward” proof that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Papadopoulos was sentenced to two weeks in jail this week for lying to the FBI, as the Inquisitr reported
The former Trump adviser was asked by ABC News interviewer George Stephanopolous, “when the entire Mueller investigation is finished that they will demonstrate that there was collusion between the Trump campaign, between Trump advisers and the Russians?”
“All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that, but I have no idea,” Papadopoulos responded.
Papadopoulos informed Trump and his campaign’s foreign policy chief, now Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, at a March 31, 2016, meeting that he could arrange a face-to-face meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the Inquisitr has covered. Trump has said that he did not “remember much” about the meeting, and Sessions claimed that he “forgot” about the meeting.
But on Sunday, Papadopoulos said that the campaign “was fully aware” of his attempt to set up the Trump-Putin meeting, as the Daily Beast reported.
“I actively sought to leverage my contacts with the professor to host this meeting. The campaign was fully aware of what I was doing, including (former Campaign Manager) Corey Lewandowski and (top campaign aide) Sam Clovis,” Papadopoulos said in the interview, an excerpt of which may be viewed below, courtesy of ABC News.
George Papadopoulos on if he believes collusion will be demonstrated between the Trump campaign and Russia once the special counsel investigation concludes: "I have no idea. All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that." https://t.co/de8rwfjb7S pic.twitter.com/zq5p1aMp0m
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 9, 2018
Papadopoulos also said that his “recollection differs” from what Sessions claims to remember about the March 31, 2016, meeting, according to USA Today. In the ABC interview, Papadopoulos said that Sessions was “quite enthusiastic” about the potential Trump-Putin meeting.
One former Trump campaign aide, Michael Caputo, has dismissed Papadopoulos as a mere “coffee boy” on the campaign, according to CNN. But Papadopoulos is now the first Trump campaign aide to be sentenced to time behind bars as a result of Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s connections to Russia.
Though he acknowledged that his testimony for Mueller may have advanced the case for Trump-Russia collusion, Papadopoulos insisted that he did not “incriminate” Trump, as The Hill noted.
“I’m remorseful, I’m contrite and I did lie but, you know, you’re just taken off guard, I guess, in such a momentous occasion where you’re potentially sitting there incriminating the president,” Papadopoulos said. “Even though, of course, I don’t think I did.”
Papadopoulos told Mueller that a Russia-linked academic, Joseph Mifsud, told him that Russian possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of stolen emails, as the Inquisitr reported. But he has not yet said whether he conveyed that information to the Trump campaign. Mifsud has since disappeared and may be dead, Bloomberg News reported.