In addition to being flawed by several accusations of Russian influence, Donald Trump’s success at the 2016 presidential polls in America came as a great surprise to many. Investigations into the collusion case had started prior to the elections but intensified afterward. Meanwhile, American-born George Papadopoulos was part of the people at the center of the investigations; he was on Donald Trump’s payroll as part of his advisory panel for foreign policy.
George Papadopoulos gained unprecedented public attention when on the 5th of October 2017, he pleaded guilty to accusations of making a false statement to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on his contact with Russia during the 2016 campaigns in connection with United States-Russia relations, and Trump’s presidential campaign. He was later convicted for some days and placed on 12 months of supervised release. While he was still vying for president, Trump hailed George as one of his foreign policy experts, referring to him as an excellent guy, however, George’s stock has since fallen rapidly following his run-ins with the law.
How Did The Little-known George Papadopoulos Get Involved With The Trump Campaign?
Prior to Donald Trump’s successful run for the Presidency, it is safe to say, Papadopoulos was a fairly unknown entity in political circles. Born in 1987, in Chicago, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University with a major in political science, graduating in 2009. His quest for further academic qualifications took him to the University College London where he bagged a Master’s degree in Security Studies (2010).
While still in London, he started working as an unpaid intern with an unnamed fellow at the Hudson Institute after which he applied to join the then-Republican party primary candidate Ben Carson’s campaign team as a policy adviser. After Carson dropped out of the race, he joined the Trump campaign in March as a political adviser. Given his relative inexperience and young age, his importance on the campaign trail has been a subject of debate with many saying he was nothing more than a lower-tier staff that had little input in the campaign’s policy thrust.
He Was At The Heart of Alleged Russian Conspiracy To Interfere With American Elections
Fluent in English, Arabic, Greek, French, and armed with his brief stint on Ben Carson’s team, George Papadopoulos applied to the Trump campaign and was attached to the foreign policy team as a volunteer adviser in early March 2016.
Once on the team, he tried to create an early impression that he could facilitate meetings with foreign nationals linked with the Russian government. On a trip to Italy, Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who claimed to have contacts with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Over the next weeks, Mifsud would have Papadopoulos believe he was going to set up a meeting with aides close to Putin. In a meeting in London, Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to Olga Polonskaya, a young woman from St. Petersburg whom he falsely described as Vladimir Putin’s niece.
Mifsud also linked Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, a director at the Valdai Discussion Club, a gathering of academics affiliated with Putin. He kept top Trump aides in the loop and assured them at a later policy team meeting he had just learned from high-level Russian officials in Moscow that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
The former foreign policy adviser to President Trump took part in a docuseries during his supervised release and has since published a book that chronicled his experience with the authorities on the Russian issue.
He is the author of the book: Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.
Investigations, Trials, And Arrest
From the onset of the Trump Presidency, there had been murmurings of possible interference in the 2016 election. On a night of heavy drinking at a bar in London, George Papadopoulos revealed to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain that the Trump Campaign had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Alarmed by this prospect, the said diplomat relayed this information to American intelligence, sparking a vigorous investigation into the Trump campaign and its contacts with Russia.
Following investigations on the 27th of July 2017, Papadopoulos was arrested at the Washington-Dulles International Airport, and put in a cell overnight. He was released the next day without bail.
After cooperating with the special counsel Robert Mueller, he pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents and sentenced to 14 days in prison and 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $9,500.
Papadopoulos Was Born To Greek Immigrants
George’s parents are Greek immigrants with origin in Thessaloniki. His father Antonis Papadopoulos was neck deep into local politics in the Greek-American community where he emerged as the then-president of the Pan-Macedonian Union in the US.
Though his mother Kate Papadopoulos was born in Greece, she has her hometown listed on George’s birth certificate as Worcester, Massachusetts.
He has a brother whom he lived with, alongside his parents in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois until October 2017.
He Married An Italian Lawyer
Papadopoulos married Simona Mangiante – an attorney of Italian origin who formerly worked with the European Parliament in child adoption cases and later functioned as his spokesperson. They tied the connubial knot at Chicago City Hall in a private event.
Prior to their nuptials, the couple was officially engaged for 10 months. They couldn’t proceed on a honeymoon following their wedding as a result of George’s case which prevented him from embarking on tours. However, the duo has plans to make up for lost time with a second wedding scheduled in Italy which will give them the opportunity to celebrate their union with Simona’s family.
Papadopoulos’ Wife Has Been At The Forefront Of Defending Her Partner
Simona has always been vocal in her husband’s defense and has been relentless in her effort to support him. She even had to resort to her Twitter handle in a bid to secure an attorney for her spouse. According to George Papadopoulos’ wife, accusing fingers have been pointed at her by people who suspect her of being a spy.
However, she has stood her ground in speaking out that her husband was never part of any collusion and has nothing in common with the Russian government.
On his own part, George has revealed that his family was concerned that his spouse might be a spy for the Russian government, however, he has dismissed the suspicions as he appears to trust his partner implicitly.