The other day I laid out what the campaign officially said about George Papadopoulos’ status on the campaign.
Papadopoulos was dismissed from the Trump Campaign in early October 2016, after an interview he gave to the Russian news agency InterFax generated adverse publicity.492
492 George Papadopoulos: Sanctions Have Done Little More Than to Turn Russia Towards China, Interfax (Sept. 30, 2016).
The book claims that Trump headquarters informed him of an interview request from Russian news service Interfax and gave him instructions about what to say, complimenting him afterward. In reality, Interfax contacted Papadopoulos directly, and though the campaign okayed the interview, the feedback afterward apparently wasn’t positive. Papadopoulos wrote to campaign official Michael Glassner to ask if he was, as others had told him, “off the campaign because of an interview I gave.”
Papadopoulos told HJC/OGR something different: He told them he never left the campaign.
Mr. Ratcliffe. How did you leave the campaign? First of all, when did you leave the campaign?
Mr. Papadopoulos. I don’t know if I ever really left the campaign. I think I was involved throughout the whole way in different ways. I mean, one — in one manner I’m helping edit the first foreign policy speech and I’m setting up, helping set up this meeting with the Egyptian President, and then I’m kind of just feeding information into the campaign from March until — all through the transition, quite frankly. So I don’t think I really ever left the campaign, if that makes sense.
Mr. Ratcliffe. Okay.
Mr. Papadopoulos. I was considering leaving, but I don’t think I ever submitted some sort of resignation to the campaign that would — that would suggest I would formally abdicate my duties on the campaign.
The claim he continued through the Transition doesn’t match other things he said in his testimony. But he might want to claim he never left because that gives Republicans a far greater stake into the investigation into him than they otherwise might. By the same token, Trump had an incentive to claim he was a “coffee boy.”
Papadopoulos was never paid, so in a sense, he could never really be dismissed (indeed, he claims he doesn’t have any more paperwork than some emails about when he started; he does seem to have expected he’d get paid, only to discover Trump doesn’t pay anyone. Since he got paid, the distinction here may be semantics. Except that it does significantly change the stakes for the Republican investigation into the investigation.
As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post.