Trump aide George Papadopoulos tried to meet with Russians


Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that one of the aides in the Trump campaign had tried to set up a meeting between representatives of the Kremlin and Donald Trump.

The adviser, who has a Masters degree from University College London on Middle Eastern politics, proposed arranging 'a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump'. The Post also reported that Papadopoulos made at least six requests for meetings between top campaign officials and Russian officials over the course of the campaign, but that they were roundly rejected by several members of the campaign.

The conversations are recorded as part of the more than 20,000 pages of documents forfeited this month to congressional committees by the Trump campaign after they were reviewed by White House and defense lawyers.

There were in fact numerous contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives, including the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. After the offer to Lewandowski, Papadopoulos shared the invitation with Manafort, then Trump's new campaign chairman, who also dismissed the request.

Carter Page, another former member of Trump's foreign policy team who has been interviewed multiple times by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his business ties to Russian Federation, told TPM that questions about Papadopoulos' work on the campaign were "irrelevant". But, in this case, it appears that his senior advisers were appropriately alarmed by Papadopoulos's suggestions and shot down the idea of setting up meetings.

The Russia investigation makes it hard, if not impossible, for Trump to launch any big joint ventures.

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Papadopoulos was a volunteer for the campaign and had very little foreign policy experience.

Congressional committees and a special counsel are investigating the conclusions of USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election campaign by hacking and other methods to help Mr Trump, a Republican. To which Clovis responded, "There are legal issues we need to mitigate, meeting with foreign officials as a private citizen". He forwarded the message to his business partner, Rick Gates, saying that "We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips".

"Mr. Manafort's swift action reflects the attitude of the campaign - any invitation by Russian Federation, directly or indirectly, would be rejected outright", Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni told the Post in a statement.

"Mr. Manafort's swift action reflects the attitude of the campaign - any invitation by Russian Federation, directly or indirectly, would be rejected outright", Maloni said.

It is a short leap to assume that the Russian officials Papadopoulos represented - if he really did - wanted to help undermine Clinton; that was the stated goal of Donald Trump Jr.'s sit-down with the Russian lawyer in June, after all. Trump Jr. has said he did nothing wrong by attending the meeting.