George Papadopoulos has some big plans for his post-prison life.
The former policy adviser to Donald Trump, who was convicted for lying to the FBI as part of the Russia investigation, announced this week that he plans to run for Congress in 2020. As Politico reported, Papadopoulos made the announcement eight days after leaving a federal prison in Wisconsin, saying he planned to follow through on his own political ambitions and run for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Papadopoulos told Politico that he had “been in touch with donors” and was in the earliest stages of exploring a 2020 run.
“We are at an incipient stage,” he said. “More to come.”
Papadopoulos confirmed his intentions with a terse statement on Twitter.
It is true. I will be running for Congress in 2020, and I will win. Stay tuned.
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) December 14, 2018
George Papadopoulos did not say which party he would run for, but it would likely be an uphill battle either way. Democrats are not likely to back a former campaign adviser to Donald Trump who spent time in prison, experts contend, and Republicans have taken a major hit in the area of California where he is exploring a run. Orange County, once a conservative stronghold in an otherwise blue state, was hit hard in the midterm election as voters turned against the Trump administration.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 15, 2018
As Vox noted, there are no longer any elected Republicans in Congress from Orange County. Trump’s influence was devastating for Republicans there, reports found.
“President Donald Trump likely didn’t help GOP candidates in southern California by making fears about immigrants a centerpiece of his midterm campaign message. More than one-third of Orange County residents identify as Hispanic, and political scientists have credited Trump’s rhetoric with motivating Latino voters to head to the polls.”
Despite his insistence that his political ambitions are real, George Papadopoulos was met with plenty of skepticism, especially amid the unpredictable statements from the former Trump adviser. While he was negotiating with investigators, Papadopoulos threatened to pull out of his plea deal and made hints that the prosecution was not being honest with the American people.
“I believe there was tremendous misconduct on the government’s behalf regarding my case,” Papadopoulos said in an appearance on Fox & Friends, via Politico. “And given certain information I learned just yesterday that I can’t publicly disclose right now, I’m actually even considering withdrawing my agreement I have come to with the government.”
George Papadopoulos has not said when he might make a decision about whether to run for Congress, or which district he might be targeting.