Exclusive: Papadopoulos had Working-Level Meeting with U.K. Foreign Office in September 2016

No media outlet has reported his September trip to the U.K.

George Papadopoulos had a working level meeting with a U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) official in September 2016, according to two U.K. government sources. Previously, the public was only aware of one Papadopoulos trip to London in November of 2016 during which he met briefly with some lower-level representatives of the FCO as part of their normal outreach to both US Presidential candidates.

According to the two UK government sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to more freely discuss the topic, Papadopoulos had a one-on-one working-level meeting with the unnamed FCO official. The meeting took place with an unidentified, high-ranking member of the UK’s department that handles foreign affairs.

George Papadopoulos, left, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, England, right

There are three immensely important points to draw from this previously unreported meeting.

One, a working-level meeting means that Papadopoulos and the FCO official had substantive talks; it was not simply to exchange pleasantries. They likely discussed policy and Trump’s positions on various aspects of foreign policy, per one of the U.K. government sources. This is the first confirmation that Papadopoulos had a major role in the Trump foreign policy team, especially with one of the United States’ important and steadfast allies. Since the news of Papadopoulos’s arrest became public, White House officials and people in President Trump’s orbit have consistently tried to downplay his role in the campaign:

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Press Secretary, October 30:

“It was extremely limited. It was a volunteer position. And again, no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign. He was a volunteer on the campaign.”

President Trump, October 31:

‘Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George”

Corey Lewandowski, former Trump Campaign Manager, October 31:

“George was a low-level volunteer who might have attended a meeting of the foreign policy advisory team. He was not a person who was involved with the day-to-day operations of the campaign, or a person who I recall interacting with.”

Michael Caputo, former Trump Campaign Aide, October 31:

“He was a coffee boy. He had nothing to do with the campaign.”

With these new revelations, all of these statements have been proven inaccurate. He participated in official activities on behalf of the Trump campaign. He was not a low-level volunteer; he was involved with the operations of the campaign. He was not a coffee boy, unless they simply have amazing coffee in Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and the U.K.

Two, it casts doubt on the role of other members on the Trump campaign. If the White House is willing to blatantly mischaracterize the role that Papadopoulos played during the campaign, why wouldn’t they do the same with others such as Carter Page, Roger Stone, and Sam Clovis? And it brings up a larger question — what are they trying to hide? With this news, their credibility on all things Russia has been severely weakened, if not destroyed.

Lastly, London is extremely significant in the Trump/Russia story. From the Papadopoulos indictment, we know that London was the agreed upon location for a meeting with the Russian ambassador (which never happened according to the FBI). The indictment mentions Papadopoulos being in London in March and meeting the professor named Joseph Mifsud and an unnamed female Russian national.

Professor Joseph Mifsud

In April, Papadopoulos emailed Sam Clovis, attempting to set up a Trump-Putin meeting by saying, “the advantage of being in London is that these governments tend to speak a bit more openly in ‘neutral’ cities.” Later that month, Papadopoulos flew back to London and learned through Mifsud that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The indictment has no mention of Papadopoulos being in London in September. I am unaware if the FBI or the Special Counsel’s office knows this fact.

Also in London are two more major players in the Trump/Russia narrative: Julian Assange and Nigel Farage.

Assange is the founder of Wikileaks, the organization that published the hacked D.N.C. and John Podesta emails. Nigel Farage was a British politician who in June was named a person of interest to the FBI in the Russia investigation because of his relationship with members of the Trump team and Mr. Assange. In March, Trump associate Roger Stone tweeted that he had a back channel to Assange:

Was his back channel through Farage? What we know to be true: Papadopoulos was in London in September. In October, the hacked John Podesta’s emails were leaked.

Contact the Writer: @ScottMStedman

Contact the Editor: Nathaniel de Gala