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NYT: Former Trump campaign adviser told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on Clinton

George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that Russia had "political dirt" on Hillary Clinton in May of last ye...

Posted: Jan 1, 2018 12:16 PM
Updated: Jan 1, 2018 12:16 PM

George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that Russia had "political dirt" on Hillary Clinton in May of last year, a conversation that might have played a role in the FBI's decision to open an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to a report published Saturday.

The New York Times reported that Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's campaign, was drinking at an upscale London bar when he told Australia's top diplomat in Britain, Alexander Downer, that Russia had political information on Clinton.

Papadopoulos earlier was told Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Clinton

Trump's allies have dismissed the former adviser's influence

A few weeks before their meeting, Papadopoulos was told Moscow had thousands of emails relating to Clinton, CNN has reported.

About two months after the meeting with Downer, after WikiLeaks posted hacked Democratic National Committee emails online, Australian officials passed Papadopoulos' information along to their US counterparts, the Times reported, citing four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians' role.

Lawyers for Papadopoulos and Australian officials did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment Saturday. White House special counsel Ty Cobb declined to comment on the Times' report.

"Out of respect for the Special Counsel and his process, we are not commenting on matters such as this," Cobb said in a statement, referring to Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. "We are continuing to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel in order to help complete their inquiry expeditiously."

The news appears to add to the number of pieces of intelligence, separate from a dossier compiled by a former British spy about Trump-Russia ties, that raised concerns among US national security officials and propelled an investigation.

Trump, the White House and Trump campaign officials have downplayed Papadopoulos' role in the campaign, dismissing him as a "low-level volunteer" and just a "coffee boy." But Papadopoulos represented the Trump campaign at various meetings with foreign officials up until Inauguration Day.

Papadopoulos' fiancee, Simona Mangiante, told CNN in a recent interview that Papadopoulos was anything but a coffee boy. Mangiante, who explained she spoke out because Papadopoulos could not, said he worked with senior members of the Trump campaign. "He worked with Michael Flynn during the transition, and he was actively contributing to the foreign policy strategies for the campaign," she said. "He didn't take any initiative on his own without campaign approval."

In October, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI "about the timing, extent and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials," according to court filings.

Papadopoulos pushed to set up a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-candidate Trump, and had a meeting in April 2016 with a professor who told him that "the Russians" possessed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails," according to court filings.

Ever since the charges were unsealed, Trump's allies have dismissed the former campaign adviser's influence.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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