On March 31, 2016, Donald Trump tweeted out a photo of his meeting with his national security team — including foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who can be seen sitting four spots to Trump’s right.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2016
According to Papadopoulos’ guilty plea for lying to the FBI, during that meeting, he told the group — including Trump — that he had ongoing communications with Russians that would allow him to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin. The meeting is even described in Papadopoulos’ indictment:
On or about March 31, 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS attended a “national security meeting” in Washington, D.C., with then-candidate Trump and other foreign policy advisors for the Campaign. When defendant PAPADOPOULOS introduced himself to the group, he stated, in sum and substance, that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.
The New York Times reported that “Mr. Trump listened with interest and asked questions of Mr. Papadopoulos” as he laid out his proposal. In the end Trump “didn’t say yes, and he didn’t say no,” and Papadopoulos continued to try to broker a meeting.
Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is supposed to be up on these matters. He is not.
During an interview on Monday’s edition of Fox & Friends, Nunes responded to a question about Papadopolous by saying, “As far as we can tell Papadopolous never even knew who Trump wa– or never even had met with the president.” There is photographic evidence proving otherwise.
Also, Trump himself admitted to meeting Papadopolous, telling reporters in November that he doesn’t “remember much” about the meeting.
During the Fox & Friends interview, Nunes also grossly mischaracterized comments Papadopolous made in May 2016 in London that led to the FBI starting its investigation into the Trump campaign. According to the New York Times, during a night of drinking, Papadopolous bragged to an Australian diplomat about Russia having political dirt on Hillary Clinton — comments that were later relayed to the FBI. Nunes description of Papadopolous’ comments have no connection to reality.
“Look, getting drunk in London and talking to diplomats, saying that you don’t like Hillary Clinton is really — I think it’s kinda scary our intelligence services would take that and use it against an American citizen,” he said.
Nunes spearheaded the effort to publicly release a memo intended to suggest that the FBI’s investigation was rooted in anti-Trump bias. According to the memo, the surveillance of Carter Page, another former Trump campaign adviser, was rooted in corruption and political bias.
Ironically, however, the last footnote of the memo indicates that the FBI’s investigation began with Papadopoulos, not Page.
“The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok,” it says.
Shortly after Nunes’ interview on Trump’s favorite show wrapped up, the president posted a tweet praising him.
Representative Devin Nunes, a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018