Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series, featuring an interview scheduled to air Sunday, June 9, on Liberty Nation Radio with George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign operative and author of Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.
“This is what happens when you work for Trump.”
Those were the sneering, chilling words uttered by an FBI agent to George Papadopoulos when the Trump campaign operative was seized and arrested by federal authorities at Dulles Airport outside of D.C. in July 2017. The young foreign policy analyst thus became ground zero for the infamous international espionage theory that Donald Trump conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election.
. Papadopoulos became the patsy in a nefarious plot from the shadowy depths of the deep state involving secret intelligence operatives, sinister foreign agents, fake professors, phony influence peddlers, clandestine meetings, mysterious cash payments — and constant threats to thwart the election, and then the presidency, of Donald Trump.
After being snared — and then imprisoned — as a prime target in the subsequent special counsel investigation that hamstrung the Trump presidency for two years and Balkanized the nation, Papadopoulos has just authored Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump. He joined Liberty Nation Radio for an in-depth interview (airing Sunday, June 9) in which he bares his soul and describes in detail how he became a central figure in arguably the greatest scandal in American history.
Tim Donner: So let’s start at the beginning of this incredible saga. You’re 28 years old. It’s 2015, and after you’ve worked for a while as a foreign policy and world energy analyst in D.C. for think tanks like the neoconservative Hudson Institute among others, you joined the Trump campaign. Trump is highly controversial but he’s winning, and despite being warned by others you say to yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Well, you were soon to find out.
You’re in Rome, where you’re introduced to a man claiming to be connected to the highest levels of governments across the world, the soon-to-be-infamous professor from Malta, Joseph Mifsud. You say in the book that you thought you were living a dream, but you now wonder in hindsight whether it was just the type of approach that’s taught in espionage school. Describe how Mr. Mifsud approached you, how he represented himself, and the nature of your interactions.
George Papadopoulos: Sure. That’s a great point that you made about this professor because he is at the epicenter of probably the greatest and most pernicious spying scandal in American history, because clearly I was the one who was witnessing these events, and it was clearly a set-up. And Joseph Mifsud was introduced to me by a director at a company I used to work for in London called the London Center for International Law Practice. This was a company that was affiliated with some of the most prominent attorneys in the world and Western diplomats, and I was working as a director in their energy department.
I told them, “I’m leaving and I’m going back to Washington. I’m going to be joining the Trump campaign,” and they were furious. As soon as I said that to them, their antenna started to spike. I didn’t understand that this organization in London I worked for obviously had some connections to the FBI, too. A woman named Arvinder Sambei, who actually worked directly with Bob Mueller after 9/11, she told me, “Why don’t you go to Rome and meet some important people who are going to help you on the Trump campaign?”
I go to Rome where, at this university called Link Campus, which is currently under investigation by Italian authorities, I meet Joseph Mifsud. I didn’t know who this person was, and my life was, you know, I was doing a lot of traveling at the time and meeting many people, and, of course, I had no idea who he was except that he told me that, “The company that you work for wants me to help introduce you to global leaders and the Russians.” That’s how he introduced himself to me, as some sort of a diplomat from Malta who was connected to the world and that he would be helping the Trump campaign. Later we find out that he was likely working with the CIA or the British intelligence services, according to (Rep.) Devin Nunes (D-CA).
Tim: Now, another member of the Trump foreign policy team was Carter Page, the man the FBI wound up getting a FISA warrant to surveil — and then three renewals of that warrant — and Carter Page warns you not to be too confident about your plan to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin, which Joseph Mifsud had promised to make happen. In the book you openly wonder whether Carter Page might actually have been a Russian agent. How come?
Papadopoulos: I was very confused about Carter Page, actually. I didn’t understand what he was doing, if he was potentially cooperating whatsoever with the Russians or, we later found out, that he had a long history with the FBI, which actually looking back in that chapter in my book where I had that bizarre phone call with Carter Page, where he was basically threatening me and telling me he’s keeping tabs on me to some extent, it was a little … he left a bad taste in my mouth, and I never quite understood why he stepped out of his lane the way he did before he even met me in person. But he did, and his background suggests that he did have contacts with the CIA, with the FBI. And I don’t know. I’m not going to, you know, spread false allegations about anyone without evidence. But clearly I think his role in all of this really made sense, to me at least.
Tim: Now, you meet with Joseph Mifsud on April 26 of 2016 and he tells you the Russians have dirt on Hillary Clinton, thousands of emails. What do you do with that information?
Papadopoulos: Sure. As you stated at the beginning of our conversation, I was working in D.C. in foreign policy in the energy circles, and you hear a lot of gossip when you’re in these types of circles, just like you probably do in many industries, especially if you’re in an office setting, whether it’s somebody’s age, their livelihood, or in this case it happened to be the topic at the time was Hillary’s hacked emails, which was obviously being openly speculated throughout the world that her State Department server had been hacked by the Russians.
So, about a month into meeting Joseph Mifsud, who was saying that he could introduce Trump to Putin … And look, as a foreign policy adviser part of my duties were to introduce Donald Trump to foreign leaders. I knew Donald Trump wanted to work to some extent with Russia at the geopolitical level. That’s why I thought a meeting with Putin during the campaign would be a good idea. That didn’t work out, of course, because the campaign didn’t want it. So then I ended up introducing Donald Trump to the Egyptian president in September of 2016 at the U.N. General Assembly.
So that was part of my duty. So people who are listening can understand that there was nothing illegal or nefarious or illicit going on about a campaign attempting to set up a foreign policy trip for the candidate that they were working for. Barack Obama went abroad, Mitt Romney went abroad. Candidates usually do this to highlight that they can work with global leaders and obviously to impress the electorate back home. So that was really the logic behind that attempt.
In Part 2 of this series, Papadopoulos describes how the story implanted with him about Russian infiltration of the Hillary Clinton campaign spiraled into a full-blown scandal and ultimately led to his arrest.
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