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    July 16, 2018. President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of the US Donald Trump, left, during the joint news conference following their meeting in Helsinki

    Former Trump Campaign Aide Claims His Boss 'Nodded' at Offer to Meet Putin

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    In the run-up to the congressional mid-term elections in November, US intelligence officials and media have been propagating claims about Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States.

    Defense attorneys for Donald Trump’s onetime campaign aide George Papadopoulos said that the would-be president "nodded with approval" when Papadopoulos suggested he could arrange a meeting between the Republican candidate and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reported.

    The argument is part of a sentencing memorandum filed on Friday by Papadopoulos’ lawyers who are seeking probation for their client whom they describe as a young campaign aide with no experience in Russian foreign policy matters.

    They say that, eager to show his value to Trump’s campaign, Papadopoulos suggested in March 2016 that he could help facilitate a meeting between Trump and Putin.

    Papadopoulos faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $9,500, but prosecutors said in the plea agreement that he was cooperating with the investigation, which could lessen his sentence.

    Prosecutors said Papadopoulos told FBI agents he had been in contact with an unnamed foreign professor who claimed Russia had “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before he joined Trump’s campaign in March 2016.

    READ MORE: Trump Downplays "Russian Meddling", Throws FBI Prowess Into Question — Analyst

    Moscow has repeatedly denied interfering in US elections as such actions would run counter to the principles and practices of Russian foreign policy.

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    Tags:
    memo, suggestion, Trump-Putin meeting, campaign aide, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos, United States
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