A transcript between a confidential source working for the FBI and George Papadopoulos, the former adviser to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, shows numerous instances of the FBI source clearly trying to lead Papadopoulos into linking Russia with the Trump campaign.
In the conversation that was recorded in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, Papadopoulos repeatedly scoffed at the idea of Russia interfering in the presidential race to help Trump. He was even recorded saying that Trump is not beholden to outside forces and that the billionaire is seeking to make America more independent.
Papadopoulos went so far as to suggest Hillary Clinton was being controlled by other parties, claiming “she’s sold out to [George] Soros and all like these, uh, multi-billionaire like, unsavory secretive society like people.”
Papadopoulos’s repeated denials of any indication that the Trump campaign was involved in Russian interference are particularly instructive since the exculpatory comments were never provided by James Comey’s FBI to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when seeking successive warrants to carry out surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General.
The FISA warrants were granted due to claimed suspicion of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, with some purported evidence consisting of the discredited anti-Trump dossier financed by Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The conversation spotlights the previously documented issue of the FBI team investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election cultivating and maintaining numerous sources close to Trump during the election and the transition period when Trump was entering the White House.
CBS News first published excerpts of the full transcript of the hours-long conversation between Papadopoulos and the confidential human source. The ensuing news media coverage largely focused on Papadopoulos’s remarks and not the manner in which the FBI source seemed to repeatedly try to lead the Trump adviser on to make remarks about Russia.
The conversation was first publicly mentioned in the December report issued by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, whose office reviewed the FBI’s controversial Russia collusion investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane. Horowitz’s report criticized the FBI over its failure to include in the FISA applications “Papadopoulos’s statement to an FBI CHS (confidential human source) in late October 2016 denying that the Trump campaign was involved in the circumstances of the DNC hack.”
The newly released transcripts detail how far the FBI source, referred to as “CHS”, engaged in a fruitless attempt to get Papadopoulos to link Russia to the Trump campaign.
In one of many examples:
CHS: You think Russia’s playing a big game in this election?
CHS: Why not?
GP: Why would they?
CHS: Don’t you think they have special interests? CT: Something like that.
GP: I don’t think so. That’s all bullshit. No one knows who’s hacking –
The source asked Papadopoulos if he thinks “they” – Russia – hacked the DNC:
CHS: You don’t think that they, that they hacked the, the·DNC? Who hacked the fucking DNC then?
GP: Could be the Chinese, could be the Iranians, it could be some Bernie, uh, supporters. Could be —
CHS: Bernie supports, I don’t think fucking Bernie supporters would have done that.
GP: Dude, the Russia doesn’t have any interest in it anyways. I mean …
The source asked if the Russians “have interest” in Trump:
CHS: Do you think they have interest in Trump?
GP: They, dude, no one knows how a president’s going to govern anyway. You don’t just say, oh I like–
CHS: [OV] He is very limited in to what he can do anyways so like [laughs] …
GP: I mean, the r-the Congress is very hostile with Russia anyways, so… I don’t know, T don’t know. And even Putin said it himself [UT].
GP: It’s all, it’s like conspiracy theories.
The FBI source persisted, asking, “What–say, is, do you think maybe Russia would have done it? … And, uhm, because they could get away with it?”
Papadopoulos responded that any foreign government could have hacked WikiLeaks.
“I don’t know. I think there, I think there’s something fishy with fucking Russia,” continued the source.
The source went on to try to clearly lead on Papadopoulos once again, this time suggesting “some heavy Trump supporters” were trying to rig the election in Trump’s favor.
“Dude, you, you…there is no rigging in his favor,” Papadopoulos responded. “Because, everything is public nowadays.”
The FBI agent again asked about “rigging” and Papadopoulos told him he believes the election was indeed being rigged – by Clinton supporters.
That section of the transcript reads:
CHS: So what the f*ck, what the fuck you think is all up with all this, uh, this rigging and all this sh*t.
GP: I believe it. There’s a lot of hidden horses behind Clinton, man.
CHS: I’m talking about fucking Trump. [Laughs]
GP: Well that’s what he’s trying to say because there are a lot of hidden horses behind Clinton who want to win the election for her.
CHS: But why?
GP: Well because she’s sold out to Soro’s and all like these, uh, multi-billionaire like, unsavory secretive society like people, you know, and that’s like well known.
WikiLeaks released that sh*t. You know when George Soro–
GP: –GP [Unintelligible]–
GP: They’re like best friends. It’s scary dude. He’s like some nut bag who’s like trying to change society. Like legalize
Contrary to the disproved conspiracies of Trump acting for Russia, Papadopoulos explained to the FBI source how Trump’s America First agenda attracted him to the candidate and how Trump’s success inoculates him from being beholden to special interests or outside sources, unlike other politicians.
So I was watching and he’s like talking about trade deals, this is in June 2015 then, you know? Like his first national interview of when he decided to run, the day after you know, his announcement. He’s talking about trade deals, bringing infrastructure back, you know, manufacturing becau-and it was hitting me because even though I was working in DC at the time, you know I had family here, some are blue collar some are white collar and they would always tell me, Crossfire Typhoon, not everybody could be a doctor or a lawyer or and not everybody could sell insurance to one another.
That’s the real America. Not the guysit-sitting in think tanks or lobbyist and you know these guys like just basically like selling stocks and know nothing. The real America needs to like build, you know, you got to build car [Ul] build the roads, you got to build infrastructure, you do need to bring back jobs that were taken away from China and India and Mexico. You know, you got to revamp the military.
You do need to renegotiate like our alliances with countries around the world because we, we are $19 trillion in debt so that all made 100% sense to me and I’m an educated person so let alone like to the rest of the people and the reason I think he dominated the way he did was because he was talking about the issues, he wasn’t talking about what some adviser was telling him to, like zingers and, you know, like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and these guys who their advisers basically just rehearsed them. You know?
Papadopoulos added: “And at the second, secondly, he’s a billionaire. He doesn’t need to do this shit. Jeb Bush needed to do it, Marco Rubio need, because these are career politicians. Trump, man, his-his-his brand was at an all-time high before he jumped into this race.”
Breitbart previously reported that Horowitz’s 476-page Inspector General report on the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane documented the FBI’s use of sources close to Trump during the election and the transition period when Trump was entering the White House, showing the extent of the spying using people surrounding Trump.
The FBI sources include one person who was in direct contact with Trump and who was utilized by one FBI agent to “obtain insight into the incoming Trump administration.” Another source was described as voluntarily providing the FBI team probing Trump with large volumes of documents.
Yet another FBI source held a position in the Trump campaign, and another was described as a Trump “supporter.” Another source was documented as attending a private gathering with Trump.
Meanwhile, Papadopoulos’s opinions and denials are especially noteworthy given that, as Attorney General William Barr previously confirmed, the predicate to the FBI probe of Trump was a separate conversation that Papadopoulos had with a foreign diplomat in which he talked about Russia obtaining “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. By that time, the news media was filled with reports about Clinton’s private email server.
Asked by NBC News last year about the predicate for the FBI probe, Barr explained, “This is George Papadopoulos.”
“And this was described by the foreign official who heard him as — who couldn’t remember exactly what was said, but it was characterized as a suggestion of a suggestion. He suggested that there had been a suggestion from the Russians that they had some adverse information to Hillary, which they might dump in the campaign.”
Barr continued: “But what was going on in May? You may recall that we were in the thick of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s secret server. And the media was full of stories. And the blogosphere was full of stories. And political circles in Washington were full of stories and speculation that the Russians had, in 2014, two years before, hacked into her secret server and were, therefore, in a position to drop this stuff during the election.”
Speaking last week to Fox News, Barr said the evidence shows the FBI launched its probe of the Trump campaign “without any basis.”
“Even more concerning, actually, is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events while he was president,” Barr said. “To sabotage the presidency, and I think that — or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKlein_