George Papadopoulos has told ABC News that he clearly remembers Attorney General Jeff Sessions giving a go-ahead to a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, contrary to what Sessions told the U.S. Senate under oath.
“Jeff Sessions was “quite enthusiastic” about setting up a meeting between Trump and Putin, according to George Papadopoulos. Sessions told Congress he opposed the idea. It is a federal crime to knowingly make a false statement to Congress.”
Jeff Sessions was “quite enthusiastic” about setting up a meeting between Trump and Putin, according to George Papadopoulos. Sessions told Congress he opposed the idea. It is a federal crime to knowingly make a false statement to Congress. pic.twitter.com/AgJf3z7mOe
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) September 9, 2018
Papadopoulos was a mid-level foreign policy adviser to candidate Donald Trump in 2016 who worked closely with Sessions who was one of the Trump campaign’s most senior advisers.
Papadopoulos was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, lying to the FBI. After being thrown under the bus by Trump and his people, he has maintained that members of Trump’s campaign team were “fully aware” and supportive of his efforts to broker a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I actively sought to leverage my contacts to host this meeting,” Papadopoulos told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on “This Week” Sunday. “The campaign was fully aware of what I was doing.”
Papadopoulos’s interview with ABC News is his first public appearance since being sentenced Friday to 14 days incarceration, one year of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and a $9,500 fine.
In October of 2017 he pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents but it took him this long to be sentenced.
During the interview he said that he believes his testimony was helpful to the Russia investigation of special counsel Bob Mueller.
“All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that, but I have no idea,” he said.
George Papadopoulos, asked if he believes collusion will be demonstrated between the Trump campaign and Russia: "All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/t0H2isIcUT
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 9, 2018
Papadopoulos said he was at a campaign security team meeting on March 31, 2016 where the team discussed his proposal of a summit between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Putin.
He said Senator Jeff Sessions liked the idea and was enthusiastic about his proposal for Trump-Putin summit.
“Trump was open to this idea, and he deferred, of course, to then senior Senator Jeff Sessions, who I remember being quite enthusiastic,” Papadopoulos said.
Stephanopoulos pointed out that Sessions later gave Congress a different account of the March 31, 2016 meeting. Sessions testified under oath that he shut down the idea of a Trump-Putin summit at that campaign meeting. “I pushed back,” Sessions told Congress.
So Stephanopoulos then asked the question on everyone’s mind:
“When the attorney general says he pushed back. is he telling the truth?”
Papadopoulos responded by saying:
“All I can say is this is a meeting from about two years ago. My recollection differs from Jeff Sessions.”
Papadopoulos also said that many people in the Trump campaign were aware of his work to set up meeting with Russians, such as campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and professor Sam Clovis, a senior adviser to the campaign.
And also, Papadopoulos said, there was Donald Trump himself, who was very well aware of what he was doing.