The Inquisitr reported that the FBI sent an investigator posing as an assistant to meet with then-Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, back when the bureau was assessing the scope of Russia's alleged attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. But CNN reports that Papadopoulos is doubtful that the woman he met in London in September 2016 was an undercover agent.
In a conversation with CNN's Michael Smerconish, the former Trump aide expressed his doubts as to whether the FBI was involved with the operation and even accused the British government of being behind it.
"The profile did not match an FBI operation, it was in London," he told Smerconish, adding that he met with British government officials on the same day that he met with undercover FBI agent Azra Turk and FBI informant Stefan Halper, who flew him to London to meet Turk.
"This was very well-planned, I believe the British were involved in this. So why would the FBI be operating in London? It just doesn't make sense to me."Papadopoulos was flown to London by Halper — a Cambridge professor — under the impression that he was doing consulting work on the Middle East energy business. Turk posed as a research assistant but was reportedly intending to examine the Trump campaign's possible links to Russia. During a conversation at a London bar, Turk asked Papadopoulos if the Trump campaign was working with Russia. According to Papadopoulos, he had no previous relationship to Halper, and he became suspicious when the professor arranged for him to go for drinks with Turk.
"I was a little suspicious about it because I didn't have any understanding why I was meeting a different person, especially a Turkish national. I mean that's why I disabused the claim that this was some sort of FBI agent."Papadopoulos, who spent two weeks in prison for lying to federal investigators, said that Turk "barely spoke English, she was very flirty," and asked him questions regarding his energy sector experience in the Middle East and "Trump and Russia."
British intelligence agencies were aware of the FBI's work, but people familiar with the operation told The New York Times that they could not confirm involvement. As of now, they have not responded to CNN's request for comments on the situation.
The FBI's activities during the 2016 presidential election — and its intelligence gathering on the Trump campaign in particular — are under the scrutiny of Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general. Horowitz is investigating whether intelligence procedures were conducted in a legal manner.