Report: Drunk Trump Aide Told Diplomat Russia Had Clinton Dirt

And inadvertently caused the FBI investigation now run by Mueller
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2017 2:58 PM CST
Russia Investigation Started With Drinks, Not Dossier: Report
In this photo from President Trump's Twitter account, George Papadopoulos, third from left, sits at a table with then-candidate Trump and others at what is labeled at a national security meeting in Washington that was posted on March 31, 2016.   (Donald Trump's Twitter account via AP)

One of the heretofore unanswered questions of Donald Trump's presidency is what, exactly, caused the FBI to open an investigation into the Trump campaign and possible Russian attempts to influence the election in July 2016. Trump and others have claimed it was in response to a dossier put together by a former British spy. That now appears not to be the case. A New York Times report appears to place the blame for the investigation, which is now being run by special counsel Robert Mueller, on former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, an Australian diplomat, and copious amounts of alcohol. After being made an adviser, the Times reports Papadopoulos was told by Moscow that it was in possession of thousands of apparently stolen emails embarrassing to the Clinton campaign.

Three weeks later, in May 2016, Papadopoulos was drinking heavily at a London bar when he reportedly told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about Russia's dirt on Hillary Clinton. Two months after Papadopoulos' drunken confession, leaked Democratic emails showed up online. That prompted Australian officials to tell American officials about Papadopoulos' conversation with Downer and the FBI to open an investigation, the Times reports. Papadopoulos has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with the investigation he apparently helped incite. Click here to read the rest of the Times report, which claims Papadopoulos tried for months to arrange a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin—or at least their aides. (More George Papadopoulos stories.)

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