Ex-Trump adviser Papadopoulos lied to FBI out of loyalty: report

The campaign aide who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI distorted the truth out of loyalty to President Trump, according to a report on Friday.

George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, misled investigators about his contacts with a professor who he believed had deep ties to Russia because he didn’t want to contradict Trump’s public denials of collusion with the Kremlin, a source told ABC News.

Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
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Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
Hope Hicks: Former White House Director of Strategic Communications
Melania Trump: Wife to President Trump and first lady of the United States
Gary Cohn: Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council
Michael Flynn: Former National Security Advisor, no longer with the Trump administration
Ivanka Trump: First daughter and presidential adviser
Gen. John Kelly: Former Secretary of Homeland Security, current White House chief of staff
Steve Bannon: Former White House chief strategist, no longer with the Trump administration
Jared Kushner: Son-in-law and senior adviser
Kellyanne Conway: Former Trump campaign manager, current counselor to the president
Reince Priebus: Former White House chief of staff, no longer with the Trump administration
Anthony Scaramucci: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: White House press secretary
Donald Trump Jr.: First son to President Trump
Sean Spicer: Former White House press secretary, soon to be no longer with the Trump administration
Jeff Sessions: U.S. attorney general
Steve Mnuchin: Secretary of Treasury
Paul Manafort: Former Trump campaign chairman
Carter Page: Former foreign policy adviser to Trump's presidential campaign
Omarosa Manigault: Former Director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison
Jason Miller: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Mike Dubke: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Stephen Miller: Trump senior policy adviser
Corey Lewandowski: Former Trump campaign manager
Eric Trump: Son to President Trump
Rex Tillerson: Former Secretary of State
Sebastian Gorka: Former deputy assistant to the president in the Trump administration, no longer in his White House role
Roger Stone: Former Trump campaign adviser, current host of Stone Cold Truth
Betsy DeVos: U.S. Education Secretary

Papadopoulos was arrested in July and accepted a plea deal, admitting that he lied about interactions he had with a professor in England who offered “dirt” on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos also had repeated contact with a Russian woman whom he believed to be Putin’s niece.

“As mentioned we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump,” the woman wrote in an April 2016 email disclosed by prosecutors. “The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”

Politico reported on Friday that investigators believe the woman was using the name Olga Vinogradova.

It remains unclear if the name is alias. Vinogradova is described in court documents only as a “Female Russian National.”

Papadopoulos initially told the FBI that his contacts with the professor and Vinogradova took place before he was associated with the Trump campaign.

Trump named Papadopoulos to his team of foreign policy advisers in March 2016.

That same month, the team assembled for a sit-down in Washington.

Court documents unsealed by special counsel Robert Mueller revealed that Papadopoulos touted his connections to Moscow and proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

A month later, Papadopoulos sent emails to others in the campaign regarding his contacts with “‘the Russians’ and his ‘outreach to Russia,’” according to court papers.

Others who attended the March meeting have since said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions scuttled the idea.

Trump, who recently boasted that he has “one of the great memories of all time,” said two weeks ago that he doesn’t “remember much about that meeting.”

“It was a very unimportant meeting,” Trump said. “It took place a long time ago. Don’t remember much about it.”

Sessions has faced growing scrutiny over the meeting since he testified before Congress on multiple occasions, claiming he knew of no contacts between the campaign and any Russians.

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