There’s a Discrepancy about When Papadopoulos Left the Trump Campaign

The other day I laid out what the campaign officially said about George Papadopoulos’ status on the campaign.

The Mueller Report — based off having a whole bunch of documentation — describes that Papadopoulos got dismissed after he wrote a column arguing against sanctions on Russia.

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).

A recent profile reveals that Papadopoulos has been lying about the campaign response to his Interfax column (though I think this downplays the encouragement Papadopoulos got from Brian Lanza).

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. 

12 replies
  1. klynn says:

    Slightly OT but related: do you think the GOP push both to declassify docs and to investigate the investigators is in hopes to spin a narrative with selected docs and release their spin before the release of Michael Wolff’s book contents which now appears to be breaking news on obstruction? Quote from his book via The Guardian:

    “And yet Wolff reports that Mueller’s office drew up a three-count outline of the president’s alleged abuses, under the title “United States of America against Donald J Trump, Defendant”. The document sat on the special counsel’s desk, Wolff writes, for almost a year.

    According to a document seen by the Guardian, the first count, under Title 18, United States code, Section 1505, charged the president with corruptly – or by threats of force or threatening communication – influencing, obstructing or impeding a pending proceeding before a department or agency of the United States.

    The second count, under section 1512, charged the president with tampering with a witness, victim or informant.

    The third count, under section 1513, charged the president with retaliating against a witness, victim or informant.”

    Papadopoulos is such low hanging fruit.

  2. Rita says:

    Papadopolous is low hanging fruit but he is becoming the linchpin to the conspiracy theories about the start of the Russian investigation. And he is becoming somewhat of a media sensation (Vanity Fair and Washington Post articles).

    He serves to focus attention from the serious concerns raised in the Mueller Report to the question of whether he should have even the “predicate” for starting the Russia investigation. Surveillance involving American citizens should always be a concern. But even if Papadopolus were improperly surveilled, we can’t ignore the numerous suspicious Russian contacts discovered.

    Papadopolous, like the Steele Dossier, is a red herring intended to distract from the issues about Trump and Russia raised by the Mueller Report.

    • klynn says:

      I agree.
      My “low hanging fruit” comment is more in terms of motive for GOP & Tr-mp to want the release of docs and to investigate the investigators. Pap knows this.

  3. Savage Librarian says:

    Marcy says, “A recent profile reveals that Papadopoulos has been lying about the campaign response to his Interfax column (though I think this downplays the encouragement Papadopoulos got from Brian Lanza).”

    Bryan Lanza also has a connection to Deripaska:

    “Former Trump campaign aide is helping Russian firm shed sanctions”

    “Bryan Lanza and Mercury Public Affairs LLC, the firm where he works as a managing director in its Washington office, are helping to lift sanctions on, EN+ Group, an energy and aluminum firm associated with Deripaska.
    5th para:
    “Brian Ballard, Trump’s longtime lobbyist in Florida and a GOP fundraiser, opened up a Washington office and brought on Susie Wiles, who led Trump’s campaign in Florida.”

      • Savage Librarian says:

        And now Caroline works at Treasury. Can’t help wonder what nefarious things she might be doing there.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        BTW, thanks for the great link, klynn. Don’t know if you saw this comment I made a previous day, so here it is again.

        I noticed that Stone acknowledged a dozen or so people at the beginning of one of his books. Because I am still going back and forth about who said, “Well done” in the indictment, I thought I would share this.

        Susie Wiles is listed in the Acknowledgements of Stone’s book, The Making of a President, 2016: how Donald Trump orchestrated a revolution (Avalon Press)

        Bannon is also listed. But not Stephen Miller. So, because Wiles was working at Trump Tower until Sept. 2016, I’m thinking again she could have been the Bannon associate who contacted her decades old friend, Roger, to congratulate him on his WikiLeaks accomplishment.

  4. viget says:

    Hot take: Papa was never really working for Trump. Why did he initially join Carson’s campaign?

    Remember, Papa was a Eastern Med oil and gas “expert.” There’s a lot at stake with the Leviathan gas field that may be one of the biggest fields ever discovered. Israel wants it to go through Cyprus and Greece to get to Europe.

    That threatens Gazprom and Russia to some degree. There are news reports that Netanyahu and Putin were negotiating over Gazprom developing the fields in the fall of 2015, but ultimately, Netanyahu went with an Israeli drilling company and Noble Energy in Houston. I’ve also read that the negotiations were more of a shakedown by Putin, with promises of reigning in Hezbollah and Syria, if Gazprom was involved, but making no such promises if not.

    What I find fascinating about this, though, is that the third partner is Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, another Israeli company. They had signed a contract with none other than Inovo BV, the Dutch firm headed by Ekim Alptekin, who is at the center of the Flynn saga, and the Bijan Kian trial that is upcoming.

    Surely this is a massive coincidence.

    • Bill Smith says:

      In his book he says he wanted to join the Trump Campaign early on. But he got no response for his efforts. Then based on an early November 2015 poll that put Carson ahead of Trump he tried the Carson Campaign. He was hired and paid for that time. When the Carson Campaign ended he tried the Trump Campaign again and was hired.

      He talks about his efforts to link Greece, Cyprus and Israel in an energy partnership.

      • bmaz says:

        Heh, right? A timeline that totally instills confidence in Papadopolous’ judgment. How does anybody take him, and his disinformation wife, seriously at this point?

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