With former Trump foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos back in the news today with The New York Times story reporting that it was his drunken conversation with an Australian diplomat that launched the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia, the administration is characterizing their former aide in much the same way they did when he pled guilty to charges of lying to the FBI after being caught up in the investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Trump himself called Papadopoulos a “low level volunteer” in his tweets after the guilty plea was announced.
Now, a former Obama administration spokesman for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor, is debunking the claim that Papadopoulos had only a minor role in Trump’s campaign after reading the story in The NY Times.
Low-level foreign policy staffers don’t set up head of state meetings. Trust me I was one. https://t.co/vfnyj60G5H
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) December 30, 2017
One of the details included in the Times article is Papadopoulos’s role in setting up a meeting between Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi just two months prior to the presidential election. That’s a pretty heady responsibility for someone Trump aides have since referred to as a “coffee boy”, even though Trump himself once called Papadopoulos an “excellent guy.”
This is one of those situations where the Trump administration is damned either way.
If Papadopoulos was truly “low level,” then why was he given such important responsibilities. That would indicate dysfunctional incompetence at the highest levels of the campaign.
If the foreign policy advisor was truly an important cog in Trump’s electoral machine, then the entire campaign can, and will, be suspected of collusion.
Given Mr. Vietor’s tweet, along with the details in today’s The New York Times article, the smart money is betting on the latter.