Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos told The Joe Pags Show on Newsmax TV on Friday that the surveillance operation that targeted him and the Trump campaign in London involved the CIA and elements of the British government, and was not orchestrated by the FBI as reported.
His remarks were the latest indication the surveillance effort targeting the Trump campaign in colluding with the Russians was far broader than initially suspected, and may have transcended the FBI.
President Trump tweeted last week: “Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom Intelligence of helping Obama Administration Spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign.”
He added, “WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!”
British intelligence officials have flatly rejected any suggestion they were involved in the surveillance of Trump campaign operatives.
Papadopoulos told the Joe Pags audience that Trump’s accusation clearly jibes with what he experienced in London in September 2016, when he was targeted by a series of mysterious efforts to elicit information about the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia.
The New York Times reported this week that in 2016, the FBI sent a woman named Azra Turk, who posed as a Cambridge University research assistant, to question Papadopoulos.
Papadopoulos said he was invited to go to London by Stefan A. Halper, a Cambridge University professor who contacted him out of the blue and offered to fly him to London and pay him $3,000 to write a research paper. But when he arrived he was told Halper was tied up and that he should instead meet with Turk.
According to the Times, Halper was acting as an FBI source and Turk was an undercover FBI agent.
Papadopoulos said he became suspicious when the woman obviously tried to seduce him and then began asking probing questions about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Even more bizarrely, he told the Joe Pags show, was that a day later while still in London he received an email from the No. 2 official in the British foreign ministry.
Said Papadopoulos: “The email out of the blue said, ‘I learned you are in London. Would you like to come to our offices for a debriefing.’ It’s an allied government, I didn’t think anything of it.
“I end up going to their offices in London, they roll out the red carpet for me, the equivalent of our State Department.
“They’re probing me, asking me about the same questions ... about my business in the Middle East, about Trump and Russia, about Iran, why Trump is a threat, why he shouldn’t be supporting Brexit, why Trump should be supporting the Iran deal and why he shouldn’t be working with Russia.
Papadopoulos indicates he believes that contact was “possibly part of the same operation that the CIA was involved with in my case.”
Papadopoulos is making the media rounds selling a book, “Deep State Target.”
He told host Joe Pags: “Now you have the British elements, that suggests to me that they were completely complicit with the Obama administration and actively trying to sabotage the campaign and spy on us.
“When Donald Trump tweets these things like he did last week that the British were spying, I give evidence of how they were doing this.”
Trump has said he will soon declassify the controversial FISA warrant applications and related materials, which could shed much more light on what actually happened in London.
“There's a lot more to come out,” he said. “I think the president when he starts to declassify this stuff, it’s going to really implicate the Australians and the British, and we’re finally going to get to the bottom of who was running this operation against me, because Halper wasn’t just meeting me.
“He was meeting Mike Flynn in 2015. Who was sending this guy at us and why?
“Once we get [answers to] these questions, I’m sure it’s going to lead to the top. And it might even implicate some former White House officials under Obama,” he said.
Papadopoulos says The New York Times’ report was in error in one respect: He believes Turk and Halper we’re working for the CIA, not the FBI as the newspaper claimed.
The Times reported that in 2016, the FBI sent a woman named Azra Turk, who posed as a Cambridge University research assistant, to question Papadopoulos, who was at that point working on the Trump campaign. She met him at a London bar, where she asked him directly if the Trump campaign was working with Russia.
“I agree with everything in this superb article except ‘Azra Turk’ clearly was not FBI. She was CIA and affiliated with Turkish intel. She could hardly speak English and was tasked to meet me about my work in the energy sector offshore Israel/Cyprus which Turkey was competing with,” Papadopoulos tweeted on Friday.
He told Fox News the day before that he “immediately thought she was an agent, but a Turkish agent, or working with the CIA,” adding, “that’s why I never accepted her overtures and met her again after London.”
Papadopoulos also said that Turk acted “very flirty” and seemed to be trying to “seduce” him and “make [him] slip up and say something … as someone who has worked a lot in the Middle East and Southern Europe on policy issues and energy issues, as I was heavily involved in from 2011-2017, I would notice odd behavior of people I later learned were agents.”
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