On July 2016 Panel, George Papadopoulos Used Same Cover Organization as Joseph Mifsud

Last night, Scott Dworkin tweeted the photo above, stating “Photo: GOP Senator Bob Corker, GOP Rep Ted Yoho, GOP Rep Tom Marino & speaking on panel with convicted Trump Advisor George Papadopolous”. As a constituent of Yoho, this really stood out to me, so I poked around and found (as, I learned later, did folks responding to Dworkin’s tweet) the source of the photo. It comes from this article in Cleveland Jewish News published on July 21, 2016. The article describes an American Jewish Committee panel discussion held in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. The panel was held on July 20 and the convention spanned July 18 to July 21. The article describes the Republicans on the panel objecting to the JCPOA under which Iran has reduced its capacity to enrich uranium. It makes no mention of anything that Papapodopolous said.

What is astounding here is how Papadopoulos is described. As captured in the photo caption, he is listed as “director of the Center for International Energy & Natural Resources Law at the London Centre of International Law Practice”.  Three things stand out from this brief description.

1, No Claimed Association With Trump Campaign

Even though Papadopoulos had been named to Trump’s national security advisory board in March, and as multiple outlets have reported, he then made international appearances claiming to be working for the campaign, no association with the campaign is listed, even though he is being given a falsely inflated title and is appearing with a number of Republican politicians on a panel in the host city during the Republican National Convention. There is no evidence that Papadopoulos ever went to law school, so being listed as the director of an organization with law in its title is laughable. Why did he not claim association with the campaign when giving the false cover identity to the person who wrote the article for Cleveland Jewish News?

2. London Centre of International Law Practice Also a Cover Identity for Mifsud

Most of the biographies of Joseph Mifsud, the shadowy “academic” who, in the Papadopoulos plea agreement was the one who offered to provide Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign, say that his cover identity was with what may be a mythical London Academy of Diplomacy. According to The Guardian, the London Academy of Diplomacy is starting to disappear:

Today, there is no sign of the London Academy of Diplomacy on Middlesex Street in London. Phone numbers for the organisation that can be found online do not work and websites lead to error messages. A receptionist at the address said the organisation left the premises six months ago.

But this Washington Post article has more.  Mifsud has another association in London:

According to a biography on the London Centre of International Law Practice’s website, which was deleted Sunday, Mifsud “served prominently” in Malta’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as an adviser for Malta’s Ministry of Education.

The London Centre of International Law Practice, you will note, is also the claimed umbrella under which the Center for International Energy and Natural Resources Law falls in the Papadopoulos cover used in Cleveland. Isn’t that interesting?

A look at the current version of the website for the center Papadopulos claimed to run is now very nondescript, presumably having been scrubbed when Mifsud was removed from the parent organization.

Here is the landing page as I saw it this morning:


Scrolling down, we see this:

And that leads us to the third point:

3. First Mention of Papadopoulos as “Energy and Oil Consultant” Since Trump in March 2016

This is what really stands out to me. Nothing in Papadopoulos’ history suggests any experience or expertise in energy, either nuclear as discussed on the panel in Cleveland, or oil and gas as listed first for the center he is claiming to direct. But let’s go back to when Trump first introduced us to Papadopoulos. From a more recent Washington Post article:

On March 21, Trump included Papadopoulos among five men he announced were advising him on matters of national security in a meeting with The Washington Post editorial board. “An energy and oil consultant. Excellent guy,” Trump said.

So Trump’s first announcement of Papadopoulos to his team in March of 2016 fits with the entirely false identity that Papapopolous used in July 2016 during the Republican National Convention. And that false identity is under the same organizational umbrella as one of the disappearing associations for Joseph Mifsud.

Update

Okay, it appears that Papadopoulos had at least lied about having energy experience when he applied to the Trump campaign.

Update 2

Commenter David Sanger provides us with a Wayback machine copy of Papadopoulos’ biography from the LCILP website. It is glorious in the description of him and the photo matches. We really have to wonder who created this history for him and how he was able to pull it off.

Update 3

The spelling of Papadopoulos has been corrected throughout.

Many years ago, Jim got a BA in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas. He then got a PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA and did postdoctoral research in yeast genetics at UC Berkeley and mouse retroviruses at Stanford. He joined biosys in Palo Alto, producing insect parasitic nematodes for pest control. In the early 1990’s, he moved to Gainesville, FL and founded a company that eventually became Entomos. He left the firm as it reorganized into Pasteuria Biosciences and chose not to found a new firm due a clash of values with venture capital investors, who generally lack all values. Upon leaving, he chose to be a stay at home dad, gentleman farmer, cook and horse wrangler. He discovered the online world through commenting at Glenn Greenwald’s blog in the Salon days and was involved in the briefly successful Chris Dodd move to block the bill to renew FISA. He then went on to blog at Firedoglake and served a brief stint as evening editor there. When the Emptywheel blog moved out of Firedoglake back to standalone status, Jim tagged along and blogged on anthrax, viruses, John Galt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is now a mostly lapsed blogger looking for a work-around to the depressing realization that pointing out the details of government malfeasance and elite immunity has approximately zero effect.

72 replies
  1. Charles says:

    Papadopolous is sounding less like a simple grifter and more like a foreign intelligence asset; I can see why he pleaded early.  Mifsud is definitely sounding more like FSB.  And the array of Republicans that seem to be cozy with these guys is alarming.

     

    Maybe Russia bought the US in a kind of reverse Seward’s Folly, and we’re just finding out now.

     

     

  2. TarheelDem says:

    On Monday, Papadopoulus’s Wikipedia entry had a resume of DePaul University, study in London (at unspecified place), no reporting of  higher degrees beyond DePaul, story about work on contract for a professor at Hudson Institute, and then working on campaigns for 2016.  I believe that it said that as a Greek-American he will interested in Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey and did research work on Cyprus.

    Cyprus has major offshore tax-shelter banking for Russian banks and businesses.  Wonder where US sanctions were hitting, seeing as how they were targeted at certain oligarchs instead of the Russian population.  Wonder how George P. was related to the folks affected.

    • matt says:

      Cyprus, interesting…  anyone know if Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (who oversaw restructuring involving Bank of Cyprus and Russian investors) is tied in any way to Papadopoulos or Mifsud?

      Didn’t Wilbur Ross also obfuscate Trump’s money ties to Bank of Cyprus? And, didn’t the largest Russian shareholder of Bank of Cyprus overpay for Trump’s Florida mansion?

    • maybe ryan says:

      As a Hudson Institute researcher, he wrote op-eds several times for Arutz Sheva, a publication linked to “Religious Zionism” that publishes in Hebrew, English and interestingly, Russian.  One wonders where the connection was originally made, and what connections grew out of it.  Why was Hudson so keen on an Israeli-Cyprus natural gas entente, since that seems to have been his overwhelming concern?

  3. kynn says:

    As for your post…I wonder if he has a family history from Stavropil Krai, Yessentuki or Predgorny? Then his cover would make sense.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump uses that same level of scrutiny for all his appointments. Naturally, since he habitually lies about his own achievements and is a flaming narcissist, he wouldn’t dream that anyone else would do the same. I just wouldn’t fly on any aircraft piloted by a Trump employee or hire a former Trump cyber-security technician.

    Malta is a major conduit for dirty money. Much of it has a Russian accent.

    • harpie says:

      wrt Malta, Ryan Lizza [10/28/17]:

      Putin also believed that the Panama Papers, which disclosed a global offshore accounting network and implicated close friends of Putin, was secretly directed by the U.S. government[Obama, Clinton]. 

      Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who investigated the Panama Papers was recently blown up in her car, near her home.

      Also, another place that came up in the Manafort documents: The Seychelles, where Erik Prince was recently reported to be conducting interesting meetings.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        Be careful playing google-sleuth, though. Mifsud is a common Maltese last name, and Malta is a small island nation where most of the population have one of 100 last names.

        LCILP and LAD look like fronts, but it’s hard to tell whether they’re credential-mills for bullshitters — think of all the “fellows” at quasi-academic DC wingnut welfare shops — or whether they’re a way to hide covert shit. Or both. They intertwine.

        Papadopoulos apparently got his entrée via claiming a position at the Hudson Institute (one of those wingnut welfare shops) when he’d only been an intern and then the Carson campaign. But there’s a lot of empty space on that timeline.

  5. Rugger9 says:

    SHS Presser with McMaster.

    Announced that Broadcom Ltd. were coming back to the US from Singapore.  Claimed the tax reform plan was the reason.  All in on the tax plan from the House, will work “tirelessly”.

    NSA McMaster will preview the trip, “please keep Qs on topic”.  We’ll see….

    NK threat is topic 1, 43 calls to regional leaders.  “De-nuclearization” of the Korean peninsula is the first task.  All stuff we have heard before.  Bilateral trade deals and action against gov’ts that “unfairly subsidize” their industries (hello, PRC).  Freedom in the PI?  APEC and ASEAN (in Manila!) conferences.

    DPRK is possibly going back on the state sponsor of terrorism status.   Language (President doesn’t modulate his language), meeting with Putin (not answered), human rights with Duterte (not answered **).  More sanctions on the DPRK.  China is doing better but needs to do more.

    Death penalty question is turned into a safety for America rant.

    ** Good freedom question about whether the Kaiser still believes in actual Constitutional freedoms or is backing authoritarians.  McMaster is putting spin on it, but the Venezuela difference versus Turkey, PI, etc. is now an “effectiveness” standard (“how much does it help to yell about this”).

    ROK concerns seem to be thrown under the bus.

    Who leads the conversation on trade? The Trade Rep will be there but the Kaiser will lead those discussions.

    SHS runs away so no Q’s on Mueller today.

  6. Peterr says:

    Okay, it appears that Papadopolous had at least lied about having energy experience when he applied to the Trump campaign.

    Given the quality of vetting done by the Trump Campaign (see also “Manafort, money laundering and campaign manager Paul”), I suspect the folks who smuggle immigrants into the US are praying for  “extreme vetting” to be quickly put into place for the whole country.

  7. david sanger says:

    George Papadopoulos
    George is currently the director of the Center for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security at the London Center of International Law Practice. Before his current role, George worked as the senior policy and economy advisor for a U.S. presidential candidate. His policy experience also expands into the think tank sector. From 2011 to 2015, he worked as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C. His research predominantly focused on the geopolitics and energy security changes of both the Caspian and Eastern Mediterranean and their impact on U.S. strategy. George designed the first ever project in Washington, D.C. think tank history on U.S., Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and Israel relations at a symposium: “Power Shifts in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Emerging Strategic Relationship of Israel, Greece, and Cyprus.” The event was widely covered and has provided U.S. policymakers with an alternative approach to responding to the simultaneous political, security and energy changes in the region.
    George has consulted for energy companies operating in the Eastern Mediterranean and Caspian and has written reports on both Israel’s and Cyprus’ upstream natural gas market structure that have been briefed to regulatory authorities. George’s work on the topics has been published and cited in the Washington Times, Jamestown Foundation, Hudson Institute, Jerusalem Post, Natural Gas Europe, Haaretz, Hurriyet, Arutz Sheva and Phileleftheros. He has been awarded by the U.S. State Department as a finalist to represent the United States at UNESCO in 2011.
    He holds degrees from University College London, DePaul University and L’universite Catholique de Louvain.

    from http://web.archive.org/web/20160424113758/http://www.lcilp.org/staff/3801-2

    he left there after April and is not on their staff list afterwards

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.lcilp.org/staff/

    • Jim White says:

      Thanks! I’ve never done the wayback machine. I was thinking I probably should figure it out to see what the earlier version of their website was like, but I was too lazy. This is perfect. So they were all in on his false history, at least as far as what they put on their site. No wonder they’ve scrubbed it.

      For those who haven’t looked, the photo on the site does look like the same Papadopolous we’ve been dealing with.

      And for those wondering, this David Sanger is not the New York Times reporter.

       

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I hope Papa’s claims about his three degrees are legit.  It is criminal fraud in England and Wales, for example, to claim to have a degree from a university when it’s not true.

      If Papa had two European degrees, including one from internationally ranked UCL and highly ranked l’Universite Catholique de Louvain, it seems odd his resume doesn’t consistently list them.  Neither is listed in Wikipedia, for example.  Only his London degree is listed in some of his web promotional materials. The description of the State Dept/UNESCO qualification, for an American two years out of a regional undergraduate school (top 300), seems unlikely.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        If Papa’s appearance of being a common or garden variety bullshit artist is correct, it’s little wonder he found his way into Trump’s orbit.

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          See also International Man of Weird Carter Page, who as Julia Ioffe’s Politico story last year made clear, was “Carter who?” to people in the field in a way that parsed as “goober, chancer, bullshit artist” or “deep-cover intelligence asset” with equal plausibility. And that was before we knew about the FISA warrant and Pobodnyy’s “I think he is an idiot” in 2013.

          I suppose we need a grand unifying goober-asset theory whereby a campaign led by someone up to his neck in laundered Russian cash ends up bringing in goobers who claim Russian/energy expertise and are sitting ducks for approaches from cut-outs.

      • Peterr says:

        DeSmogBlog has a pdf of his LinkdIn account, which shows this under “Education”:

        University College London, U. of London
        Master of Science (MSc), Security Studies, Upper-Second Class Honors
        2009 – 2010
        My MSc dissertation, written in November 2010, focused on the deleterious effects of low governance and state capacity levels in the Middle East. My research allowed me to safely infer that the rise of pacified and violent Islamist groups was directly correlated with the aforementioned indicators and the paramount reason that the ‘Arab Spring’ currently reverberates throughout the entire Middle East.

        DePaul University
        Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science and Government. Emphasis on International Political Economy.
        2005  – 2009

        l’Université Catholique de Louvain
        Certificate, French Studies
        2005  – 2005
        Activities and Societies: Completed an intensive French preparatory course.

        “Studied at” and “received a degree from” are two very different things. Here, at least, it appears he was clearer about the difference.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The blog post description considerably overstates his work at Louvain, which was a few weeks study of French, not quite a degree.

          Upper second class honours, a 2.1, is quite good, though not a coveted first.  Rather better than his apparent performance at DePaul, which simply states the award of a degree.  It’s a discrepancy an employer would typically want resolved.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            His description of his MSc paper is routine bullshit: verbose, conflating opposites, overreach masquerading as restraint.

            • Peterr says:

              I don’t see a whole lot of restraint our routine in that little abstract. Consider the phrasing here: “the rise of pacified and violent Islamist groups”.

              First, using “Islamist” instead of “Islamic” is the same kind of verbal tell you see in the use of “Democrat Party” instead of “Democratic Party.” This is not academic restraint on display here.

              Second, and related to that, the word “pacified” suggests that Papadopoulos’ default position is that all Muslims are violent, but (due to “governance and state capacity issues”) some of them may be pacified.

              OTOH, given the rise of the far right, perhaps this kind of thing has indeed become routine. If so, never mind.

    • Anon says:

      Notice that he describes himself as a former energy advisor to “a US Presidential Candidate” without naming said candidate. Either he doesn’t want to be tainted with Ben Carson’s loss. Or they didn’t want to be tainted with his.

  8. Avattoir says:

    Compared to Trump, George might well have the more impressive academic career. And he certainly can right gooder .

  9. pdaly says:

    Thanks for the links. I went to the Way Back Machine, used its dates functionality, and noticed Misfud first appears in the directory (as a Board Advisor) November 30, 2015. He is not present on the September 18, 2015 screen capture.

    Papadopolous first appears in the directory the next time the Way Back Machine captures the site page on March 14, 2016. As David Sanger (above) notes, Papadopolous is present April 14, 2016 but absent on the page by May 10, 2016.

    Misfud’s title is still Board Advisor on June 16, 2016, but his title is “Director International Strategic Development” on July 18, 2016– same time as the AJC panel is occurring.

     

  10. Willis Warren says:

    Isn’t all of this consistent with the idea that they should send someone “low level” to work on the backdoor dealings?  his distancing himself from Trump would have been under the orders of Clovis > Manafort.

    All of this seems to be working towards a quid pro quo wherein the Trump campaign accepted the Russkies help in exchange for Magnitsky or for this?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-campaign-guts-gops-anti-russia-stance-on-ukraine/2016/07/18/98adb3b0-4cf3-11e6-a7d8-13d06b37f256_story.html?utm_term=.be3dd42c002f

    The changing of the Republican party platform had to have been discussed in length by the NatSec team.  I’m not sure what the legal ramifications of this quid pro quo are, but I would think they include significant jail time.

    I doubt the Russkies cared about Ukraine as much as they cared about Magnitsky.  The Ukraine stuff was probably just the ice breaker

    • PG says:

      But, the president doesn’t have power to repeal an act. And endorsing such a repeal would require a great deal of public support.  Trump could advocate for a repeal but that doesn’t mean he’d get anywhere.  Russians may have hoped for such public advocacy by pitching their case to him, but would they undertake a risky quid pro quo for something that could not be guaranteed? And it would set their efforts back significantly if such a deal were discovered.

      • Willis Warren says:

        If he lost?  they had the dirt on Hillary.  The Russkies were in a win win situation.  If he couldn’t overturn Magnitsky?  they release the pee tape?

        People assume that the Russians want Donald Trump to have a successful presidency.  They just want America to look bad.  DT accomplishes that, with or without Magnitsky.  It was certainly worth the gamble.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, Paul Manafort’s attorneys are demonstrating their hope that Christmas will come early and that the court will believe their description of the thrice-passported Mr. Manafort, with funds scattered across several tax havens, and who is reportedly enjoying the arms of a mistress:

    “Describing Gates as a “devoted husband and a very involved father”, [Gates’s attorney, Shanlon] Wu asked that the judge allow his client to travel domestically as well as abroad so he could maintain his current consulting clients and attract new ones. Without the ability to travel, he would not be able to support his wife and children, who range in age from six to 14 years old….It “is unthinkable that he would abandon his family, close friends and local community to flee to some other country, even in the face of these unproven allegations”.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/02/paul-manafort-court-robert-mueller-house-arrest

    Flight might be unthinkable to Mr. Manafort’s attorneys, but I suspect it keeps Mr. Manafort up at night almost as much as contemplating how often Donald Trump breaks promises.

    The “not be able to support his wife and children” line is rich. That might not be as much of a problem had he not had so many of his assets seized as alleged products of criminal activity, or had not spent so lavishly on suits and antiques. What goes around comes around might be an idea on the judge’s mind.

  12. KH says:

    Mifsud speech in Moscow, 25 Oct 2016, at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMjPHJEQxEw :

    I would like to start, I would like to start my, my discussion, I have shown—you, perhaps you can it at the back and you can see it in front there. It’s a painting from the National Gallery in London called The Two Ambassadors. There were two, one, as you can see, is wearing, uh, clerical robes and the other one is wearing princely robes. They used to be ambassadors not of one country; they used to sell themselves, almost, as ambassadors to city-states. Most of their work, or most of their instruments of work is seen behind them. So you can, you can see musical instruments. You can see a globe. You can see other things there. You can see a poetry book. Because they used to be, uh, chosen, or they used to, as part of their advertisement, let’s put it this way, they needed to be competent and skilled in many skills and in many areas. What is interesting, as well, um, most of the work that they did as diplomats was what is called marital diplomacy, which means finding, uh, good wives or good husbands to princes or princesses of warring or opposing nations, city-states. Most of these were city-states; they were not large states. Sometimes they were employed by, obviously, uh, the Vatican and sometimes by the Emperor, sometimes by a prince, sometimes by a king. Why have I shown this, uh, this slide? It is an interesting slide. By the way, there is also, uh, on the foot of the painting there is, um, an image of a skull, which is also put inside this picture by Holbein, uh, the Younger, who, who, who painted this.

    Why am I showing this? I’m saying that, I am, I am showing this because my vision of Europe is perhaps a bit different from your vision of Europe. I wouldn’t put everything into the concept of Western. Many countries who joined the EU, the European Union and, I will be focusing most spec-, uh, specially or specifically on the European Union, which is the, at the moment the “sick person” of Europe. So Europe is larger than the EU, as we know. And the EU is very sick. It’s actually, some people, perhaps even the gentleman on my right, would call it terminally ill. Should we, uh, give it the opportunity of using euthan-, euthanasia, so that we finish it?

    We have a big problem, because the EU had two principles. One, apart from the four freedoms, one is that of what is called “patient diplomacy”—so trying to achieve something by speaking first to one group, then the group enlarged and enlarged. And we know the reasons for enlargement, as well. I was one of the key people for the largest of, uh, enlargement of the EU. And for example, was for my country—uh, my country then—because I, I, uh, I am a Maltese citizen, a citizen of Malta. Our, uh, inclusion inside the EU was, had its reasons. Other countries, like the countries from the East, had their own reasons—reasons, by the way, which I will relate to—continue to dom-, to dominate the discussion of today. The other, the other theme the EU has always looked at was what I would call “crafted compromise.” So everything seems to come out in a way which is a compromise. And as you know, sometimes—not sometimes, I would say, most of the times—compromise makes very, how would I call it?, three-headed figures, not, uh, normal figures. So it makes things extraordinary, things which do not, cannot stand on their feet.

    Coming back to Europe, what is Europe? Is Europe only the EU member states? Does it include, uh, the Russian Federation? Many inside the EU, insi-, in terms of discussion, when they speak about Europe, they always, always speak about a larger, wider EU. The EU itself—wider Europe, I mean. The EU itself so, um, specific in terms of what it does. It is not homogeneous—absolutely not. I don’t know if you’re aware, do you know that w-, there, uh, the blocs within the EU, for example, foreign ministers, have a prior meeting to where every foreign-minister meeting organized by the EU according to regional concentration. The Medit-, Mediterranean group is called the Olive Tree group. They work together, they specifically look at things together. They have very different views, and it could be seen.

    Somebody mentioned the article and the page from The Economist, uh, which, uh, painted a, a picture of, uh, of, a photo of President Putin. There is at the same time, in print, Panorama, an Italian, uh, magazine, printed exactly the same picture, but changing the question, asking, “Are you really calling this person a devil?,” for example. Of course. What am I saying? Europe and the European Union, or the Western type of Europe, has different ways of working. Unfortunately, and this is something—that’s why I mentioned that the EU is the “sick person” at the moment—is dominated, the EU is dominated by people, for example, who? At every European Council, whenever the topic of working or dealing with the Russian Federation comes up, put up huge barriers. These are not the Mediterranean states. So I would like to make it very clear. Somebody mentioned today that, uh, Prime Minister Renzi of Italy, for example, even during the last European Council meeting, had to put his foot down, supported by other countries from the Mediterr-, from the M-, mostly from the Mediterranean, who said this can’t continue, because obviously set again the increase of sanctions was on the cards.

    What am I saying? I mentioned in the previous session, as well, the fact that there is now what I would call “citizens’ power,” which is gaining more and more ground in Europe. There is almost an implosion of the way people think, in terms of Europe. I said before that sometimes we call these fringe parties or radical parties, but in fact they are thinking what many, many communities across Europe, north and south, not just in the Mediterranean, are thinking. I would—may I , if I may, suggest a, a, an, another version, perhaps not so ideologically rooted, but perhaps more real and pragmatic at this moment in time? We need, coming from, uh, diplomacy, we need more citizens’ diplomacy here. We need to continue speaking to each other at various levels. One of the terms that I had pushed for many, many years was that of what I called “academic diplomacy” or “scientific diplomacy.” Academics never stop speaking to each other. At this moment in time, this is much more needed. Why? Because it is not a one-way issue. It’s not about, uh, the, the West, or what has been called the West, thinking about its own survival. It’s also about hearing how other people think. Sitting here in Moscow and discussing this issue would be extremely different from sitting, for example, in Brussels and Berlin, in Rome or in London, and speaking exactly about the same issues. So even the positioning of how, of where a person speaks is important.

    I notice something else which is interesting, perhaps, to note here. When you take member states, or states individually, leaders of the states use, um, what I would call, or what, uh, President Arafat used to do, speaking in Arabic and saying one thing to his people and speaking in English and saying something completely different to the journalists who are listening to him. And this I can see in Europe happening more and more. Why? Leader of states do not want to tell the truth to their citizens. So once they agree, of course because of pressure—the United States was mentioned many, many times today, the pressure on many of the leaders, and you can see it even in countries which started one way and finished completely—leaders of countries—which started in one way and finished completely in a different position due to the pressure which was put on them.

    So what am I saying? I’m saying that there needs to be more time. Europe at the moment—or what I would call Europe—including the twenty-eight, uh, twenty-seven, now, member states of the EU once Article 50 is activated—will need more time to come to terms with the changes that will be taking place. You’re already seeing it. Many, I wouldn’t, uh, be in, uh, anybody’s shoes here to predict what would be the future of countries like France and Germany, which are considered to be the two big leaders of the EU. But there are, I would say, eighty, eighty-five, ninety percent, even more, chance of big changes within the leadership of these countries, which would then completely change also the way states take decisions. One of, one of the most difficult things, and I would like, perhaps, us to, to reflect on this, the, where has the European project—or the EU project more than the European project—the EU project, where has this failed? The EU project, in my opinion, has become too grand, a Leviathan. You know, huge, impossible to control. It’s trying to control systems and areas from one or two cities, because, you know, f-, as a compromise, again, this was one of the European craft of compromise. We have two seats of the European Parliament, Brussels and, uh, and, uh Strasbourg. To say, to say the least, we need, and this is something which I think we, we need to lo-, to look at, is we need to look again at how, perhaps, we should have—and there are some in Europe already thinking about this—a leaner Europe, a more focused Europe, a Europe which takes care of the communities. It’s very, very, very important that one does not leave out the communities, because the communities have been one of the sources of building up this Europe. And also something else which I think is important is what are national or international relations of the new EU will look like.

    We have to start thinking about this. Why? Because the kind of relationship that the EU currently has, for example, with its neighbors economically is not viable. This is one of the hugest things that is coming up. If you see the documents, for example, from the, uh, Economic Ministers’ Agenda of the EU, which are then transmitted to the Presidents or the Prime Ministers, the executive power of the, uh, at the European Council, there is a huge dichotomy. Economic ministers are saying we are falling behind. We have to continue to trade, we have to open up trade to the Russian Federation. Imposing sanctions, for example, is, uh, w-, w-, it’s suicidal in our case—and, because of the pressure, and I agree completely with what you said before, because the pressure from, uh, the United States, the leaders of Europe—the current leaders of Europe—are forcing the EU to take steps which are not consonant with what, with what it actually wants to be. May I just add something else, which I think is important. One question that, uh, the EU has been asking itself again, at various levels—especially the European Parliament has been one of the, is the question, has the EU beca-, bec-, become Americanized?—the question which you asked. Has it become strongly Americanized? Has it, ha-, has it become totally Americanized?—which is another big question.

    And I must say that within the European Parliament, uh, and within the Committee of the Regions—looking at the institutions within the EU—there is, you know, we have been very pessimistic, perhaps, today, but on this, on these two levels, Parliament and the Committee of the Regions, which I consider to be the real voice of many of the communities scattered inside the European Union, there is a completely different view. And this is something which might help the European Union change. It’s not going to be an easy one. Time is not on the side—the huge issue, as you know, of migration has hit and has divided the European Union. Right now, for example, Mediterranean states and, uh, eastern, the eastern EU member states are not seeing eye-to-eye, putting it mildly. There is also the issue, as well, of i-, inter-EU migration or inter-EU mobility, which is one of the cardinal principles of the EU, which is also, in my opinion, under threat. Any, uh, discussion post-Brexit which will limit migration will be eating into the heart of one of the, uh, uh, four freedoms of the European Union, which is going to be very difficult to, to act. Then there is also one, uh, huge what I would call a trap that the EU has walked in, into, which is the sanctions. There has been a lot of discussions—I have been even here in Moscow with, uh, uh, one French minister who, to the business community, suggested absolutely, you know, we are open for business, why do, why have we put these sanctions in? So to me, there are a number of big issues that need to be, you know, Europe needs, or the EU needs time. It needs time post-Brexit. It needs time to come out of the, and look at a new—perhaps—American leadership, who might change or might remain the same. It might, it might need, as well, something as, which I think is also very, very important, to see how these fringe new movements—which have taken some of these, uh, some of the cities in Europe—start to act together. Will these become political parties? Will they remain as movements? Will they reconstitute and reconstruct the new EU?

    One final thing, which I think is important. I must pass a message, which I feel is extremely important, and this is something that the, not, it’s not just the people who are the intellectuals. I mentioned, in my previous, uh, intervention, the media. The media within—again here I would agree with the previous speaker—has a absolutely, in my opinion, westernized, and westernized in the way that you explained it. The media is doing its best to break any sort of changes within the, the EU, any sort of changes within the, uh, approaches, for example, to the Russian Federation. But it is succeeding? This is a question which I have put on the table. I, personally, do not believe it is. Thank you.

    • matt says:

      The broader implications of this Mifsud speech are immense. This is a paradigm shift whereby leaders in EU are stepping back from American hegemony.   America has lost its moral high ground steadily over the past 70 years, and especially in the last 20- to the point where our (former?) allies in Europe see no reason to prefer us over the Russian Federation.  This is much bigger than Putin’s revenge on Hillary and a dumb-ass commercial real estate broker turned POTUS.

      • matt says:

        And obviously, we have  our own schism over Russia policy in Washington.  As the HuffPost article states, Jeff Sessions turned from a “Russia Hawk,”  to in his own words,  “I think an argument can be made that there is no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at this loggerheads,”

        What force turned Conservative Hawks like Sessions and Clovis into Russian sympathizers?  Were they just “paid off” or, are they representing a deep rift in the American political/business elite over Russia?

         

         

        • maybe ryan says:

          Syria was the primary factor.  As a microcosm of the fight against ISIS/al Qaeda/Islamic extremism/Islam, depending on who is talking.

          I’m sure there were payoffs and other things.  But Syria was the wedge that pushed a lot of conservatives to Putin.  They believe the CIA under Obama was sending arms to Islamists to overthrow Assad, and first allowed/fueled the growth of ISIS, and then tried to prop up al Qaeda-ish groups against ISIS, surreptitiously allowing arms flow.  The argument runs that the American weapons went to forces that everyone knew weren’t strong enough to even keep the armaments, and so inevitably they immediately went to al Nusra, etc., and that meanwhile, Obama was green-lighting anti-Assad funding from Gulf states that was flowing to Islamists.  They ultimately came to see Putin as fighting alongside Assad for everything good in Syria.

          Keeping in mind that huge chunks of conservative opinion didn’t go that way.

          And significant chunks of nominally the Democratic foreign policy semi-elite did.  For instance, Sic Semper  Tyrannis, who I would describe at 2008-era Obama-curious, and now firmly in Trumpland; and Moon over Alabama, the Billmon-inspired anti-interventionist site, where “unicorn” came into the parlance to describe the mythical Syrian moderate, as part of an analysis that said that there was never a chance for a reasonable outcome in Syria; while some drew the line at anti-interventionism, others deemed that Putin made the right decision to fight Sunni extremists with Assad.

          I’m definitely not saying that is my view.  Just outlining what I think was a big part of the process.

          • Steve McIntyre says:

            there’s a big difference between thinking “there is no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at this loggerheads” and being accused of being a “Russian sympathizer”.

            I, for one, find US policy in Syria bewildering and think that it is an entirely reasonable question to ask whether US might have been better off working with Russia in Syria than in doing whatever it was doing with jihadi organizations with sketchy relationships to al-Nusra/alQaeda.

             

             

            • matt says:

              Bewildering for sure… I think everyone is falling over themselves over the future oil/gas pipelines to Europe.  I just can’t figure out who’s on who’s side anymore.

  13. dc says:

    The first Wayback capture of that profile is March 16, 2016. This is 2 days after he “learned he would be an advisor to the campaign.” So it looks like he became associated with this Centre right around when he joined Trump Campaign. Was this affiliation engineered by Mifsud or his Russian paymaster to help give PapaD credentials to get him into the campaign? Was he a plant? With Carter Page also known to Russian intelligence this would make 2 of the 5 initial National security team weirdly unqualified and weirdly connected to Russians. Who lined these guys up?

    • pdaly says:

      Interesting find.
      I was going to say that perhaps Papadopoulos could have started anytime between November 30, 2015 and March 14, 2016 (the next time the Way Back Machine updated the staff list page after November 30, 2015). His name appears on the staff list on the March 14, 2016 capture by the Way Back Machine.
      But perhaps his name was added without a profile on March 14, 2016, and then on March 16, 2016 his profile was added for the first time.
      (Or is it possible the Way Back Machine doesn’t log a complete snapshot of this website each time it visits?)

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      That sounds extremely plausible.

      Papa stopped getting a retainer from the Carson campaign soon after the Iowa caucuses which took place on February 1. He’s back in London when he gets the call from Clovis on March 6th or thereabouts. He meets Mifsud around the 14th. His bio’s up on the LCILP site by March 16th, and he’s named on the List of Misfit Policy Advisors on the 21st.

      That’s a pretty short window.

      His LinkedIn says “February 2016” as a starting date at LCILP. That could just be to avoid a gap in the resume after leaving the Carson campaign, though the bio image is helpfully titled “Screen-Shot-2016-02-23-at-17.16.24.png”.

      How about we hypothesise that the “Centre for International Energy & Natural Resources Law” was basically a one-person shop where Papa got to play as “director” to burnish his credentials? I’ve seen entities like that before: ones that pose as “we” and can generally subcontract a few warm bodies to act like a multi-person shop if required. The “staff” for that area mostly look like Scottish-based lawyers and academics who got to moonlight in London, and the March 14 snapshot suggested that the “centre” was being run with contractors.

      So in that scenario Mifsud or someone else at LCILP sets him up with a bullshitty “director” title just in time for the formal announcement, he’s now beholden to them for his current credentials, next time he meets the Professor it’s with Female Russian National, and a week later he’s in DC.

      That might also explain why Papa specifically felt like he had to lie about the timing: because by the time he sat down with the Feds, he knew he was a sucker (and in somewhat deep shit) and didn’t want to admit it.

    • matt says:

      Was Misfud, Papa’s handler, then?  Seems like Misfud’s motivations were to protect dirty Russian money is his Maltese EU tax haven.  Still, even if Papa was groomed for the foreign policy advising (at 30 with zero experience)… was a recommendation from Sam Clovis all it took to get him a seat advising a US presidential candidate?  Does anyone know what was “in it” for Sam Clovis to be involved in this?

      • dc says:

        When I said plant, I did not mean to imply that Page and PapaD were trained spies or Russian operatives. One of many possibilities is that they were just names suggested by Russians to be brought into campaign in exchange for dirt. Perhaps Flynn found out about dirt in his Russian Jaunt in December, and this was a good faith effort to show Russians how they could play ball in exchange for dirt.  Flynn joined the campaign in February as a national security advisor.  In this admittedly unevidenced scenario, the name dropping by Trump in March 2016 could have been at the behest of Flynn to try to get dirt.  So I think figuring out who was involved in placing Page and Papa could be important.  Flynn was replaced by Keith Kellogg as acting NS advisor after firing, and given he was one of the 5 initial security advisors named by Trump, that he was placed in the role when Russian connections blew up is interesting. Having this history, if true, might reflect why they initially kept the CIA director and DNI out and added Bannon to the NSC principals in the first days of the presidency- keeping those with knowledge of the nascent Russia investigations out of Flynn’s way.

        • matt says:

          That makes sense about Bannon in the NSC, early on.  Flynn, Sessions, and Tillerson are the “elder statesmen,” and no doubt more experienced in plausible deniability –  Papa and Page may have been placed by them as errand boys and cannon fodder, if necessary?

  14. david sanger says:

    Professor Joseph Mifsud

    Prof. Joseph Mifsud is the honorary Director of the London Academy of Diplomacy and the former President of EMUNI. He was elected President of the Euro-Mediterranean University by European and Mediterranean, Rectors and Presidents of Universities in November of 2008 after the Paris Summit established Emuni and Euro-Mediterrranean higher education and research as one of the priority projects of the Union for the Mediterranean. He is a full professor at the University of Stirling and an Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia.

    Joseph has lectured extensively throughout the world on international relations, public administration and management, public private partnerships, diplomacy and euro-mediterranean studies in Europe, Russia, Africa, USA and throughout the Mediterranean region. He has worked in a number of European and International Universities as Guest Professor, International Director and International Adviser. He has attended and chaired conferences on higher education, intercultural studies and research in Europe, USA, Russia, the Mediterranean and the Gulf. He has also been invited as a keynote speaker by the EU Parliament, the European Council, the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the Union of the Mediterranean and many of the the major schools of Management, Security Studies, International Studies and Diplomacy around the world.

    Joseph has also served prominently in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta especially in relation to the Commonwealth and in the Mediterranean including the hosting of the Euro-Arab summit in Malta. He has also worked for the Ministry of Education in Malta as Chief Advisor between 1996 and 1998 and as Malta’s representative to the Council of Europe in Education and at Unesco where he has also organised major Ministerial and institutional meetings on pan-meditarranean intercultural dialogue. He was also vital to the EU accession of Malta, being in charge of the establishment of the European Programmes Unit. He has served as Head of Department, and as a member of the Senate of the University of Malta and was also Malta’s representative to the Bologna Follow Up Group.

    Joseph has attended and presented papers at the European University Association (EUA) and European Universities and Higher Education Institutions. He sits on a number of Boards in higher education and diplomacy, both in Europe and in the Commonwealth. He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and of the Valdai Group. He is also the author of a number of contributions on higher education, public and private adminstration and on Diplomacy in the Mediterranean and has recently produced the chapter on higher education and research in the Mediterranean published by the Mediterranean Annual in Spain. He has also been the convener of the London Diplomatic Forum organised every week in London and the organiser of Rome Diplomatic Week.

    Joseph is also one of the key contributors to the Moroccon Centre of Strategic Studies based in Rabat. Joseph is considered to be the founding father of the term ‘Academic Diplomacy’. His current research interests focus on the EU especially accession and enlargement, the OAS and EU relations, FDI and Diplomacy, and Diplomacy and Security, the Commonwealth, the GCC, Development, Management and Strategic Studies in the Maghreb and Mashrek regions, EU – Russia Relations, and the workings of the Organisation of American States. He is also focusing on a number of countries/regions out of Europe – the Gulf, the Middle East and North Africa, Angola, Kazakhastan, Vietnam and Myanmar. The London, Rome and Washington diplomatic journals have run features of his work in the January and February editions of 2015.

    Regions of Experience

    Europe
    USA
    The Middle East
    Africa
    Asia
    Areas of Expertise

    International Diplomacy
    Security
    Public Administration and Management

    fwiw also from Wayback Machine

    http://web.archive.org/web/20160316160003/http://www.lcilp.org:80/staff/professor-joseph-mifsud/

  15. matt says:

    maybe ryan: couldn’t get this commend to post under yours at 3:21… but thanks- that was helpful info on Syria and its relevance to our tensions with Russia. I’m wondering now, if it’s more than just the Trump administration in Washington that have become more open to allowing greater Russian trade and influence in the world.

  16. Willis Warren says:

    “What force turned Conservative Hawks like Sessions and Clovis into Russian sympathizers? Were they just “paid off” or, are they representing a deep rift in the American political/business elite over Russia?”

    Uh, no. The same force that turned them into the busboys for the Kochs. The Republican party is already bought and sold. You think they really care all that much where the money comes from? They want to remain in power so that they can give all the money to the rich.

    There’s no moral behind this story. Putin isn’t a communist and the Republican donors are jealous as fuck that he stole half of Russia’s money. HALF

    • matt says:

      Well, yes… but their “pay” has to come from somewhere- there may be no moral behind the story, but there is a business/political/military fraction bigger than Trump that has rejected Clinton/Obama/Bush policy both on Russia, and the Middle East.  Money is connected to policy and deals- like this one– that may explain the depth of what’s going on behind the scenes.

  17. Steve McIntyre says:

    The London Academy of Diplomacy was affiliated with the University of East Anglia for several years up to 2014. Its 2012 graduation ceremony has a few youtubes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XER38O4flJk ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNmyheuRu8M ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs6ouxv4P7o

    The Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Edward Acton, is listed as being on the podium and I can confirm that it’s him.

    An earlier video (dated 2009 for 2004) appears to be from same organization during earlier affiliation with University of Westminster.

    London Academy of Diplomacy seems to have eked out a meagre existence.  Such an organization, strange as it seems, may have perceived Papadopolous as adding substance.

     

  18. pdaly says:

    emptywheel likely has a timeline of this somewhere, but I just noticed that the 3rd week of February 2017 was a fast-paced one for the Russian investigation:

    Monday 2/13/17 National Security Director Michael Flynn resigns ‘for lying to VP Pence and other top WH officials’ about the topic of his conversations (weeks before Trump’s inauguration) with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. .
    Tuesday 2/14/17 (Valentines Day) Trump asks for Comey’s heart/pressures him to drop the investigation.
    Thursday 2/16/17 G. Papadopoulos is interviewed for the second time by the FBI and lies about communicating during the campaign with Russian nationals,
    Friday 2/17/17 G. Papadopoulos shuts down his Facebook account that contained these communications.

    I assume Papadopoulos was well aware of the events of Flynn’s resignation but chose to lie to the FBI later that same week anyway.

      • pdaly says:

        I hope they revisit it in light of the indictments. Is Pence heading to Asia, too?

        If not, maybe he can be reached for questioning.

        • bmaz says:

          I don’t think so, think he is in New York and Pennsylvania.

          My guess is that Mueller will interview both Trump and Pence, and they will be that last two subjects interviewed.

          • pdaly says:

            Here’s hoping Mueller will be able to place each in a separate room out of earshot of the other (unlike the joint interview of Cheney and Bush by Fitzgerald back in the day).

            • bmaz says:

              You and me both. I would think so. I never understood how Fitzgerald’s shop agreed to that. Stunningly insane.

  19. maybe ryan says:

    So Carter Page’s dad runs the “Hudson Renewable Energy Institute.”  Part of me really wants to find out that resume-inflator George Papadop worked there, and dropped Renewable Energy in order to make it look like he worked at the Hudson Institute.

    But surely one of the national reporters checked.

  20. Bay State Librul says:

    Bmaz:
    A couple of questions:
    Do you think Flynn has already been indicted and the unsealing awaits the perfect time?
    If Mueller finds money laundering in the Trump Org, can he refer to another department and skirt the Red Line (not the Boston Transit System)?

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