‘It’s Bull****’: Trump Aide Reveals Extent of ‘Russian Meddling’ in 2016 Race to Secret FBI Source

© AP Photo / Jacquelyn MartinFormer Donald Trump presidential campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos leaves federal court after he was sentenced to 14 days in prison.
Former Donald Trump presidential campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos leaves federal court after he was sentenced to 14 days in prison. - Sputnik International
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Instead of challenging him on policy, Donald Trump’s opponents spent nearly three years accusing the president of being a Russian agent, and claiming that the Kremlin meddled in the US in 2016. Trump was exonerated in April 2019 with the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which found no evidence of collusion whatsoever.

George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign advisor who found himself at the center of US intelligence agencies’ massive probe into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russians, revealed to an FBI informant in a secretly recorded conversation in 2016 what has since become clear to everyone – that there was no cooperation of any kind between Trump and Russia to hack or release the emails stolen from Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee.

In the conversation between Papadopoulos and a friend whom the FBI secretly asked to query the Trump advisor regarding possible Russian meddling, several weeks before the November 2016 election, Papadopoulos repeatedly denied that any meddling was taking place.

“You think Russia’s playing a big game in this election?” Papadopoulos was asked by the ‘friend’ in a recently declassified transcript of the exchange obtained by the Daily Caller Foundation. “No,” he responded. “Why not?” he was asked. “Why would they?” he replied.

“Don’t you think they have special interests?” the FBI informant continued. “Something like that. I don’t think so. That’s all bull****. No one knows who’s hacking them [Clinton and the DNC],” Papadopoulos said.

“You don’t think that they, that they hacked the DNC? Who hacked the f***ing DNC then?” the undercover source asked. “Could be the Chinese, could be the Iranians, it could be some Bernie, uh supporters. Could be Anonymous,” Papadopoulos answered, referring to the online hacking collective. “Dude, Russia doesn’t have any interest in it anyways…They, dude, no one knows how a president’s going to govern anyway. You don’t just say, oh I like…I mean the Congress is very hostile with Russia anyways, so…I don’t know, I don’t know. And even Putin said it himself. It’s all, its like conspiracy theories,” the aide said.

In the conversation, Papadopoulos also insisted that he knew “for a fact” that no one in the Trump campaign was involved in hacking the DNC.

The exchange, said to have taken place in a Greek restaurant and on a ride to a casino, featured the unnamed FBI source repeatedly prodding Papadopoulos on possible Trump-Russia collusion, to no avail. Along with this topic, the pair discussed mutual friendships, their love lives, Papadopoulos’s lobbying work for Israeli businesses in Washington, and other subjects.

Papadopoulos, who was arrested by the FBI in July 2017 and accused of making false statements to federal investigators, served two weeks in federal prison and was subjected to a 12 month supervised release and 200 hours of community service for the crime. After being released, he penned a book in which he accused intelligence agencies of entrapping him.

In December 2019, Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz revealed that the FBI had failed to include the above-mentioned exchange between Papadopoulos and the FBI source in its case on the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, with the conversation's omission being one of over a dozen inaccuracies and omissions documented by the inspector general’s office. It’s important to note that the conversations between Papadopoulos and FBI informants helped serve as the initial catalyst for the entire Russiagate investigation.

Papadopoulos himself took to Twitter late Wednesday to discuss the transcript, saying he knew “exactly who” was behind what he called “this frame job.”

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