Trump sought Putin meeting in March 2016
Drip, drip, drip.
Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.”
The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post.
The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.
But Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos for Trump to do so.
Gee, can you think of any other “energy consultant” types with ties to both the Trump campaign and Team Putin? Maybe Carter Page?
Papadopoulos’s name came up in a May 25 WaPo article:
By late March 2016, when Trump appeared before The Post’s editorial board, he was prepared to brag about his new foreign policy team.
“I can give you some of the names,” Trump said after Post Publisher Frederick J. Ryan Jr. asked about his advisers.
Second on the list of five read aloud by Trump: “Carter Page, PhD.”
Another unusual name on Trump’s list of foreign policy experts was a little-known figure named George Papadopoulos, whose inclusion may also have demonstrated the vulnerabilities that came with limited vetting.
“He’s an energy consultant,” Trump said. “Excellent guy.”
The news media soon reported that Papadopoulos seemed to have exaggerated elements of his résumé. And, touting his position as a Trump adviser, Papadopoulos began offering positive comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin to foreign audiences.
Papadopoulos did not respond to requests for comment. His name had surfaced four months earlier on a similar list of foreign policy advisers circulated by the presidential campaign of Ben Carson.
You think that’s interesting? Well, it turns out Papadopoulos was on WaPo‘s radar back in March 2016!
One of Trump’s foreign policy advisers is a 2009 college grad who lists Model UN as a credential
[George] Papadopoulos, a 2009 graduate of DePaul University, directs an international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice.
He previously advised the presidential campaign of Ben Carson and worked as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has had meetings with the president of Cyprus and the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. He obtained a masters’s degree from the University of London in 2010.
On his LinkedIn page, Papadopolous lists among his awards and honors that he was U.S. Representative at the 2012 Geneva International Model United Nations.
WaPo has also posted a video with a rundown of the story.