Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in a recent exclusive interview with Breitbart News slammed Democrat lawmakers Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and others who accused him and other Trump campaign members of colluding with Russia, calling the promotion of the collusion narrative a “power grab.”
“I think they’re putting their own personal interests ahead of the country,” he said during a 30-minute long interview on Thursday. “It’s sad when the media does it, but when an elected official does it, you’re meant to represent the people, and you’re putting your own personal vendetta or agenda ahead of the country.”
He also slammed Schiff and other Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee for pushing the Russian collusion narrative despite the Mueller report concluding there is no evidence of collusion.
“Bob Mueller himself said there was no collusion, yet you’re going public and telling the world that Donald Trump is a Russian asset — that George Papadopoulos is a Russian asset — that his team was corrupted?” Papadopoulos added.
In a new book entitled Deep State Target, Papadopoulos detailed what happened after he signed up to be a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign in March 2016, and found himself in what he believes to be the middle of a plot by Obama administration law enforcement and intelligence officials to investigate and take down Trump.
The book’s release on Tuesday came just days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation, finding no collusion, conspiracy, or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“Current and former” officials had told the New York Times that Papadopoulos was the reason for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opening an investigation on the Trump campaign.
Their story was that a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud had told Papadopoulos the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, and that Papadopoulos passed that on during a meeting at a bar with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer in London, prompting Downer to tell U.S. officials, and prompting the FBI investigation.
However, Papadopoulos argued Mifsud was never a Russian agent, but instead claims he was working on behalf of Western intelligence.
“Mifsud’s own lawyer, the day before I testified in front of Congress, told the world two things — one, please stop writing about my client as a Russian agent or we will sue you, because he was not a Russian agent when he was interacting with George Papadopoulos, he was working on behalf of Western intelligence, and under the guidance of the FBI,” he told Breitbart News.
In addition, another former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, has claimed that an FBI informant had reached out to him before the FBI said it began its investigation began in late July. Downer also later said that Papadopoulos never mentioned “emails” during their discussion.
Nonetheless, Papadopoulos was investigated for collusion, arrested, jailed, indicted, and pressured by his own lawyers to plead guilty to a count of lying to investigators, as he alleges in his book.
He said Trump and Republicans in Congress are “absolutely right” in wanting to get to the bottom of what really happened.
“The president is absolutely right that — and members of Congress that were on the Republican side — are absolutely right in their effort now to redirect the arrow now towards the investigators and investigate them, and that’s what looks like is going to happen,” he said.
“I sincerely believe there is appetite in the U.S. for that. I’ve been asked by some liberal media, and liberal journalists, don’t you think America is tired of all these investigations? I said, I think America is just waking up,” he said. “They are going to want to make sure that what happened in 2016 never again affects a U.S. president or an American citizen.”
“Because it can be anybody. You could be George Papadopoulos next time. You could be entrapped by your government. And you know what, I hope my story assures that this never happens again. If my legacy is anything, from this, whatever that is going to be, I hope that I’m viewed as the poster guy from what happens when the government seeks to destroy you to achieve another goal,” he said.
“And I hope President Trump is very successful in his efforts to go after the people that he likes to say committed treason.”
Kristina Wong is the Pentagon correspondent for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter at @kristina_wong.