By Steve Neavling
George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign aide who was sentenced to 14 days in federal prison, said he lied to the FBI to protect the president.
“At the time of my interview with the FBI, I think around three or four days before that, I was at the inauguration attending parties with senior-level transition officials,” Papadopoulos told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “I understood that there was an incipient investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
He continued, “And I found myself as somebody who worked incredibly hard over the past year with the campaign to actually have the candidate Trump be elected. And then I found myself pinned between the Department of Justice and the sitting president and having probing questions that I thought might incriminate the sitting president.”
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI about meetings in London he had with a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, who claimed to have troves of emails related to the Clinton campaign.
“He sat me down and he was quite giddy,” Papadopoulos said. “And he told me, ‘I have information that the Russians have thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails.’”
When asked whether be believed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation had enough evidence to demonstrate coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, Papadopoulos responded, “I have no idea.”
“All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that, but I have no idea.”