Tags: Russia probe | President Donald Trump | George Papadopolous | Robert Mueller

NYT: Trump Campaign Aide Prompted Russia Probe in Drunken Revelation

NYT: Trump Campaign Aide Prompted Russia Probe in Drunken Revelation
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By    |   Saturday, 30 December 2017 01:13 PM

The ongoing probe into the involvement of Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign got its start in May 2016 during a night of heavy drinking in London between a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Australia's top diplomat in Britain, The New York Times reported Saturday.

During that night, Trump adviser George Papadopoulos revealed to Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat, that Russia had dirt on Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos indicated he had been told Russia had emails numbering in the thousands that could embarrass Clinton.

Within two months, leaked Democratic emails began to appear online, the article explained, and the Australian officials gave the information Papadopoulos had revealed to their U.S. counterparts.

Russian officials may have approached Papadopoulos, who Trump officials have called a low-level adviser of little significance, because he was a fringe player in the campaign who could offer them the type of insider status they sought in order to wield influence in the U.S. presidential election.

The hacking and the notion a member of Trump's campaign might have inside information were factors leading to the start of an FBI investigation beginning in July 2016, the article explained. In its early stages, the investigation was one of the agency's "most closely guarded secrets," according to the Times.

Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with the agency in their investigation. The information he provided indicated an involvement by Russians in last year's presidential race that was more widespread than earlier believed.

Court documents revealed Papadopoulos offered to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin during the presidential campaign which became a central focus of the investigation, The Hill reported Saturday.

Trump officials have maintained the probe, which grew larger in scope when Special Counsel Robert Mueller was named to investigate the charges, came from a reportedly discredited dossier compiled by a former British spy about Trump.

White House special counsel Ty Cobb declined to comment on the Times' report.

"Out of respect for the Special Counsel and his process, we are not commenting on matters such as this," Cobb said in a statement, referring to Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. "We are continuing to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel in order to help complete their inquiry expeditiously."

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The ongoing probe into the involvement of Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign got its start in May 2016 during a night of heavy drinking in London between a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Australia's top...
Russia probe, President Donald Trump, George Papadopolous, Robert Mueller
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2017-13-30
Saturday, 30 December 2017 01:13 PM
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