George Papadopoulos - a central figure and self-admitted dupe in the Obama administration's targeted spying on the Trump campaign, gave a wide-ranging interview to Dan Bongino on Friday, detailing what he claims to have been a setup by deep state operatives across the world in order to ultimately infiltrate the Trump campaign.
In March 2016, Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud told Papadopoulos - an energy consultant who had recently joined the Trump campaign - that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, a claim which Papadopoulos repeated in May 2016 to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer in a London bar. Of note, former FBI Assistant Director of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, reportedly traveled to London directly before Downer met with Papadopoulos, while a few months later former FBI agent Peter Strzok met with Downer in London directly before the DOJ officially launched their investigation into the Trump campaign.
For everyone following closely: the same days I meet Joseph Mifsud, Peter Strzok texts Lisa Page about his overseas contact:— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) November 4, 2018
“his guy talking now.” Now new info shows that Strzok’s boss, Priestrap, was in London the day before Downer begins to try and set me up. Coincidence?
Also, Congress needs to further understand why Bill Priestap, Strzok’s boss, flew into London the day before I meet Downer. Was downer being run by our intel? I believe so.— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) November 4, 2018
The alleged admission about Clinton's emails officially sparked the Obama administration's counterintelligence operation on Trump on July 31, 2016 - dubbed Operation Crossfire Hurricane. In September 2016, the FBI would send spy Stefan Halper to further probe Papadopoulos on the Clinton email allegation, and - according to his interview with Dan Bongino, Papadoplous says Halper angrily accused him of working with Russia before storming out of a meeting.
Halper essentially began interrogating Papadopoulos, saying that it’s “obviously in your interest to be working with the Russians” and to “hack emails.” “You’re complicit with Russia in this, isn’t that right George” Halper told him. Halper also inquired about Hillary’s hacked emails, insinuating that Papadopoulos possessed them. Papadopoulos denied knowing anything about this and asked to be left alone. -Bongino.com
There are two schools of thought on Papadopoulos and his relationship with Mifsud - the first link in the chain regarding the Clinton email rumor. Notably, Mifsud claimed last November to be a member of the Clinton Foundation, and has donated to the charity.
The first theory is that Mifsud and Papadopoulos are Russian agents, and that Papadopoulos was used to try and establish a backchannel to Putin. Papadopoulos admits he tried to set up a Trump-Putin meeting - which was flatly rejected by the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos, however, claims the Putin connection was a woman Mifsud introduced him to claiming to be Putin's niece, who was present at a March 24, 2016 meeting.
The second theory regarding Mifsud is that he was a deep state plant working with the FBI; convincing Papadopoulos that he could arrange a meeting with members of the Russian government and then seeding Papadopoulos with the Clinton email rumor. From there, as the theory goes, the "deep state" attempted to pump Papadopoulos for information and set up a case against him - beginning with Alexander Downer and the "drunken" confession in London.
He met Mifsud first. Mifsud plants the intel, “Russians have Hillary emails.”— Dill Pickle (@Pickleboy57) November 4, 2018
Later, George meets Downer and tells him about the emails. Downer then tells the FBI. FBI then meets PapaD. Why did Strzok’s boss fly to London close to the date Downer met with PapaD?
Papadopoulos told Bongino that he wasn't drunk during his meeting with Downer, and that he was being recorded. Papadopoulos noted during the Bongino interview that transcripts of his meetings with Mifsud and Dower reportedly exist - which he says proves that he was set up. According to Papadopoulos, Mifsud's lawyer said that he's not a Russian asset and was instead working for Western intelligence.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying the FBI about his interactions with Mifsud, and was sentenced to 14 days in federal prison and a $9,500 fine.
Papadopoulos also told Bongino about $10,000 in cash that he was given in an Israel hotel room in July 2017 - which he claims was another attempt to set him up. He says that he believes the bills were marked, and is looking for a way to bring the cash into the United States for Congressional investigators to analyze. The cash is currently with his attorney in Greece.
"I’m actually trying to bring that money back somehow so that Congress can investigate it because I am 100 percent sure those are marked bills, and to see who was actually running this operation against me," Papadopoulos gold Bongino.
"I am more than happy to deliver the $10,000 in cash I received, as part of what I believe was a sting operation to frame me in summer 2017, to your committee to examine for marked bills. This is in the interest of me being fully transparent," he wrote last week on Twitter to North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe.
Hons: @RepMarkMeadows and @RepRatcliffe I am more than happy to deliver the $10,000 in cash I received, as part of what I believe was a sting operation to frame me in summer 2017,to your committee to examine for marked bills. This is in the interest of me being fully transparent.— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) October 31, 2018
The two Republicans are members of a congressional task force investigating the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The task force interviewed Papadopoulos on Oct. 25.
Papadopoulos acknowledged in his interview with Bongino that his claims about his encounters with an Israeli-American businessman named Charles Tawil were “an incredible, insane story.”
“But it’s true,” he asserted.
Papadopoulos told Bongino the he believes that Tawil “was working on behalf of Western intelligence to entrap me.”
Papadopoulos does not have direct evidence that Tawil was working on behalf of a Western government when they met in March and July 2017. Instead, Papadopoulos is speculating based on what he says is the peculiar circumstances of his encounters with Tawil as well as his meetings with at least one known FBI informant. -Daily Caller
Afraid he might be killed if he didn't accept the money, Papadopoulos took the funds and later contacted Tawil - who allegedly told Papadopoulos he didn't want it back. From there, Papadopoulos gave the cash to his attorney in Greece. Upon his return to the United States several days later, Papadopoulos was arrested on July 28, 2017 at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C., by agents who he believes were looking for the cash.
And then when Papadopoulos landed back in America, he was arrested at Dulles International Airport on July 27th. Strangely, he wasn’t shown the warrant for his arrest when arrested, and didn’t know the reason why until the next day. The $10,000 that Tawil paid Papadopoulos in cash is interesting in this context, as it would be the exact amount of money one would be required to declare at customs. Papadopoulos didn’t recall if he was arrested before or after he filled out a customs slip (but didn’t have the money on him). -Bongino.com
If the $10,000 is traced to the Obama DOJ/administration, then we have a massive can of worms that just opened. I will make sure congress has the opportunity to review for marked bills and investigate who authorized an entrapment operation against an American citizen.— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) November 4, 2018
At minimum, one should set aside an hour for the Bongino-Papadopoulos interview if only to hear his version of events.
Perhaps the biggest mystery of all is how George was able to end up with such a hot Italian (not Russian) wife: