Newly unearthed documents show that Trump’s convicted foreign policy campaign aide was following orders from higher-ups in the Trump campaign to give interviews to Russian state press and to emphasize “US partnership” with Putin’s government.
Former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his knowledge of Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s stolen emails long before it became publicly known that Russian hackers had broken into and stolen them.
In December, Papadopolous confirmed to the Times that Trump’s April 27th, 2016 foreign policy speech at The Mayflower Hotel was indeed a “signal to meet” with Russia. Now, the Post reports that the Trump campaign sent him more signals about the media appearances he was allowed to do – with Russian state-media – as opposed to English speaking media, from which he was forbidden:
When a Russian news agency [Interfax] reached out to George Papadopoulos to request an interview shortly before the 2016 election, the young adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump made sure to seek approval from campaign headquarters.
“You should do it,” deputy communications director Bryan Lanza urged Papadopoulos in a September 2016 email, emphasizing the benefits of a U.S. “partnership with Russia.”
The exchange was a sign that Papadopoulos — who pushed the Trump operation to meet with Russian officials — had the campaign’s blessing for some of his foreign outreach.
The previous May, Papadopolous had landed in trouble with the campaign for insulting David Cameron – then the Tory/Conservative Prime Minister of the UK – hence his need for prior approval.
Contrary to administration spin, George Papadoplous was quite the up and comer in the Middle East’s hyper-local politics, even meeting the President of Cyprus before getting into politics, and meeting with the right-wing Greek Defense minister during the campaign, while Putin visited.
It wasn’t his last visit to Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, and that Papadopolous’ role continued through at least the Trump Transition. The Post reports:
As late as December 2016, as President-elect Trump was preparing to take office, Papadopoulos tried to serve as a conduit for the defense minister of Greece, transmitting what he said was a proposal for a strategic alliance from the Russian-allied Greek official that was reviewed by both Bannon and Flynn, then in line to be national security adviser.
The Greek Defense Minister is considered a political ally of Vladimir Putin, whom you can see together in this video of the Russian autocrat’s arrival in Athens the same weekend that Trump’s advisor met with him there.
Regardless of the administration spin, Kammenos certainly took his meetings with Papadopolous seriously, because that’s exactly what he tweeted the day after Trump’s surprising election in 2016.
This new information shows how eager the Trump Campaign was to use George Papadopolous as an overseas agent and even to conduct public relations in the Russian media, but not in the English press.
Indeed, one wonders what other “signals” were sent by the Trump campaign because it only took six weeks – as the smoking gun emails revealed – for Papadopolous’ first signal to presumably result in Don Jr.’s infamous Trump Tower treason meeting just six weeks later.
Ironically, the Republican President who doesn’t personally use email, and campaigned solely on claiming his opponents’ emails are incriminating seems to be the only one of the 2016 candidates whose emails are the ones leading to felony convictions.
While Trump famously claimed that Papadopolous was “just a coffee boy” with no real connection to the campaign, it’s becoming very obvious that that was not the case – and Special Counsel Mueller is sure to be interested in this new information.
Here’s the Greek Defense Minister’s tweet about his relationship with Trump advisor George Papadopolous:
Συγχαρητήρια στον νέο πρόεδρο Τραμπ σημαντική η θέση πλέον του Ελληνοαμερικανού Γιώργου Παπαδόπουλου για την Ελλάδα pic.twitter.com/tYDkSqPH7t
— Panos Kammenos (@PanosKammenos) November 9, 2016