Trump: Aide at center of Russia probe ‘proven to be a liar’
By STEPHEN BRAUN and STEVE PEOPLES
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that a former campaign aide thrust into the center of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe “has already proven to be a liar.”
On Twitter, Trump sought to dismiss George Papadopoulos, who has provided key evidence in the first criminal case connecting Trump’s team to alleged intermediaries for Russia’s government.
Said Trump: “Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!”
Papadopoulos was approached by people claiming ties to Russia and offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, according to court documents unsealed Monday. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about the conversations and has been cooperating with investigators, the documents said.
Papadopoulos’ guilty plea and the possibility that he’s working with Mueller’s team came as an unexpected twist in the mounting drama surrounding the criminal probe. A separate welter of charges Mueller announced Monday against Trump’s ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime aide Rick Gates do not appear directly related to their work for Trump.
But Papadopoulos’ case cuts close to the central question of Mueller’s investigation: Did Russia try to sway the election? Did Trump’s campaign know?
“The Russians had emails of Clinton,” Papadopoulos was told by a professor with ties to Russia during a breakfast meeting at a London hotel in April. U.S. investigators said that the following day, Papadopoulos then emailed a Trump campaign policy adviser, “Have some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.”
The court papers do not name the professor. But a comparison of conversations cited in the court papers and emails previously obtained by The Associated Press show the professor is Joseph Mifsud, honorary director of the London Academy of […]