Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Papadopoulos Denies Incriminating Trump in FBI Interview

Papadopoulos Denies Incriminating Trump in FBI Interview

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about meetings in London he had with a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, who claimed to have troves of emails related to the Clinton campaign.

In an interview on ABC News' "This Week", Papadopoulos - sentenced last week to 14 days in federal prison for lying to the FBI about his Russian Federation contacts in 2016 - said he has "no knowledge of the president is obstructing anything".

He pleaded guilty in October 2017 to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor who supposedly told him in 2016 that Russian Federation had damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump's Democratic opponent.

But Sessions, in an earlier testimony he gave to the Congress, pledged innocence on the whole matter, saying that he hardly knew Papadopoulos and had "pushed back" against the idea of organizing such a meeting.

But then when the two men met face to face for the first time a week later in London, Papadopoulos said, "All of a sudden, he pulls out his phone, everyone has phones when they meet with me, and he places in the front of him and he begins to tell me, 'So George, hacking is in the interest of your campaign".

"My recollection differs from Jeff Sessions'", Papadopoulos said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning.

He added that then-candidate Donald Trump at a meeting where Papadopoulos brought up the idea of a summit, "nodded at me". Trump deferred to then-Senator Jeff Sessions, who was "enthusiastic", he said.

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Papadopoulos was the second person ordered to prison in the sprawling, 16-month Russian Federation collusion investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and came just over two weeks after two former top aides to Mr Trump were convicted of felony crimes in cases that grew out of the probe.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week" with anchor George Stephanopoulos, Papadopoulos described the March 31, 2016, roundtable meeting on foreign policy in which he was pictured with both Trump and Sessions.

At the same time, he said he recognized that Papadopoulos had "genuine remorse" for "letting himself get caught up".

However, during his Tuesday appearance on The View, Papadopoulos argued the campaign was aware of his efforts, leading one of the show's co-hosts to ask whether he'd been played.

Papadopoulos said he told Halper he had no idea what he was talking about. His case was also the first to detail a member of the Trump campaign having knowledge of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election while it was ongoing.

Weeks later, stolen Mrs Clinton emails were leaked over the internet by what United States intelligence chiefs now say were Russian intelligence actors.

The former campaign aide insisted his location in London meant his communications were conducted "99 percent over email".

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