George Papadopoulos gave an in-depth, hour-long interview on the Dan Bongino Show.
It’s highly worth your time. Given the length and sheer number of details, it may be even more significant in readable form. A transcript has been painstakingly compiled below.
Papadopoulos is quoted directly and in full throughout the interview. Bongino’s questions and comments have been summarized – although they remain direct quotes. This format gives proper context to the discussion while keeping the focus fully on Papadopoulos.
Bongino did a great job in this interview. He allowed Papadopoulos to develop his story with minimal interruption. Dan’s questions & comments serve to highlight specific points or prompt Papadopoulos to provide additional clarity. Unlike many interviewers, Bongino understands the intricate details behind this topic, providing an expertise that makes for an in-depth and compelling result.
As the interview progresses, Papadopoulos expands and tells his story more fully. Again, there are many important details contained within. Some questions are also raised. They will be examined separately.
You can listen to the full interview here – the full transcript is below:
Bongino: I want to get right to it. I have a list of questions for you..I guess the easiest question to ask is why did you meet with Mifsud?
Papadopoulos: Professor Mifsud is a Maltese professor. Just so everybody understands – he’s not a Russian.
I was working at this organization in London – the London Center for International Law Practice (LCILP) – that unbeknownst to me at the time was apparently some sort of front group for ex-western diplomats and ex-western intelligence types of personalities.
As well, the legal counsel for the FBI in the UK, Arvinder Sambei, just happens to also be a director at this organization I used to work for. I tell this organization ‘Look, I’m joining the Trump Campaign, I’m leaving. I’m going back to the U.S. I’m leaving London.
But they all of a sudden tell me, ‘before you leave, you really need to come to Rome with us. We want to introduce you to some people there.’ So, I say, ‘that’s fine. I’ll go to Rome. It’s a three-day holiday before I get back to Washington.
They introduce me to Josef Mifsud at this university in Rome called Link Campus. This isn’t any normal university in Rome. At the time I had no idea what this place was. But apparently, it’s a training ground for western intelligence operatives in Rome. The CIA has held symposiums there. David Ignatius from the Washington Post has actually written extensively about this place. They have connections to the FBI and other groups.
I also saw many Italian diplomats there. The ex-foreign minister of Italy was the director of this university, so things started to pop in my mind that this isn’t just a random event – a random meeting.
They tell me it’s very important for you to meet Josef Mifsud. I had no idea who this person was. He came up to me, presented himself as this mid-fifties, former diplomat, who knew the world.
Bongino: You don’t seek Mifsud out? The organization you’re working for, with ties to western intelligence, they’re the ones that set this up?
One of the few people who actually orchestrated that meeting was Arvinder Sambei, that anyone could simply google this person and you’ll see that she’s the legal counsel of the FBI in the UK. So not a small person.
Bongino: There are only two possible scenarios here. Mifsud is the greatest Russian agent in human history – who managed to get over on the Link Campus, western intelligence-connected people, these people you were working for at the company – and they did zero vetting. Or, Mifsud was probably not a Russian agent and you were right the whole time that he was “a nothing.”
Papadopoulos: I think you’re absolutely right.
This guy, he presents himself as this insider to the world and he says ‘I know Moscow. I know Vietnam. I know London.’ You have to understand the type of personality this person was. So I listened to him. I said, ‘I already have contacts in the Middle East, I don’t need him for anything like that, but let’s see what he has to offer.’
A week later, I’m back in London, preparing my life to move back to the U.S. and he emails me out of the blue, ‘I need to introduce you to a very important girl.’ And I say ‘okay, that’s great, who is this.’ I go back to the LCILP, and all of a sudden, the directors over there are telling me, ‘guys, this is Putin’s niece.’ So, they were all in on this scam. It wasn’t just Mifsud telling me that I’m meeting Putin’s niece. It was the directors at the LCILP.
Bongino: She’s not Putin’s niece, which we know now…She goes by Olga Vinogradova…The people at the London Center seem to believe she’s Putin’s niece too?
Papadopoulos: That’s exactly right.
I get there, she’s just a young lady, barely speaks english. Just kind of an obscure person, sitting and smiling. I fell for it. I was a dupe at the time.
Bongino: This is the March 24  meeting. Who’s at this meeting, Olga, Mifsud. Is there anyone else there?
Papadopoulos: No, no. No one else is there.
He invites me to this five-star hotel over in London just for lunch with this person. Just sits there. She doesn’t say much, just obscure, barely speaks english.
Now here’s where things get really weird. After I return, I go to the National Security meeting, from that famous picture – everyone knows what I’m talking about. Then I’m speaking at this conference in Israel in the beginning of April . I return back to London sometime in April. This young lady, Putin’s fake niece, begins to email me with Mifsud. She goes from speaking barely any english, to all of a sudden, she’s fluent in the language. She’s some sort of insider to Moscow and she’s going to introduce me to everyone with Mifsud in Moscow. So in my mind, unfortunately at the time, I was believing this nonsense.
Until one day, I texted her, ‘Are you the same person that I met in London with Mifsud?’ And I never got a response. What I’m trying to say is, I don’t think the girl that I met with Mifsud in person in London was the girl – or whoever I was talking to in emails – later on. I just want to make that clear.
Bongino: It’s possible it may have been the same person who spoke perfect english the entire time.
Papadopoulos: She’s apparently a manager at a wine store. That’s what her official occupation is. Where they picked this girl up from, I have no idea.
Bongino: When do you meet her first?
Papadopoulos: I’ve only met her once in my life, face-to-face, and it was March 24  in London. I didn’t meet her in Rome.
Bongino: I think Vinogradova may have been working with western intelligence as well…to maybe oversee that meeting and make sure they had some kind of corroboration.
Papadopoulos: I have no idea. I’m following your lead on this one. It makes perfect sense though.
Bongino: They constantly talk about – in the Statement of Offense – these substantial connections these people had to Russia…there is no evidence that has been presented to show that these people had these substantial Russian connections…the charging document exonerates you – you were right. These people were nothings.
Papadopoulos: I agree with you on that.
But also, we do know that Mifsud has substantial connections now, because about a week ago, his lawyer [Stephan Roh] went public and said that he was working for western intelligence and under the guidance of the FBI.
So unless this guy’s lawyer, and I’m represented by great lawyers, and they would never lie about me publicly, they wouldn’t slander me. That’s just not what lawyers do. If his lawyer’s telling the truth, which there’s no reason for him to be lying, especially given what we know about Mifsud’s connections to western intelligence, how my meeting with him was obviously orchestrated and how he actually really had no connections to Russia. He introduced me to the fake niece of Putin, who was probably working with western intelligence, and a low-level think-tank analyst in Moscow, who I’ve never met to this day, over email. So it makes perfect sense.
Bongino: If this is true, this was a clear-cut case of entrapment. You were unquestionably then set up by your own government…How does that make you feel that you may be the centerpiece of the biggest political scandal of our time?
Papadopoulos: Honestly, it’s been harder on my wife than even on me.
She moved from Italy to be with me through this entire saga. She’s had my back. She’s supported me publicly. We’re doing our best, but now that new information is out, there’s a reason that uh…
There’s a reason that my wife has been public and vocal about me actually rescinding my plea agreement, because she’s known Mifsud longer than everyone. She actually used to work at the European Parliament. She knows about his ties. He used to meander around the European Parliament, the European institutions, and she knew about his connections to the Clintons, to the socialists in Europe. This guy was not connected at all to the Russians, as far as she was telling me. And that’s why she was like, ‘what on earth are you pleading guilty for, when this guy obviously is just setting you up.’
At the time of course, I had no idea who this person was, but you know when it really struck me with a knife in my heart?
When the FBI presented their sentencing memorandum and they said I was responsible for helping Mifsud escape and that I was the only one with the impression that Mifsud was a Russian agent. But there’s actually no evidence that was ever supporting that fantasy that he was working with Russian intelligence. So just to summarize, it’s been horrifying but America has my back, you’ve had my back since day one and we’re going to get through this stronger than ever.
Bongino: Let’s just get this out of the way…Your wife is not Russian, correct?
Papadopoulos: She is not Russian.
She’s a blond, blue-eyed girl from Naples, Italy. You can’t be more Italian than her. I’ve met her parents, they’re the most Italian people you can possibly imagine.
Bongino: [Some] have alluded to the fact that you may have in fact been working with the intelligence community against the Donald Trump team. Can you please just address this stuff.
Papadopoulos: There’s nothing further from the truth than that.
I had absolutely nothing to do with intelligence operations against Trump, except the one that obviously set me up to try and hurt Trump himself. Just to be clear about that.
Bongino: They ask you at one point in your interview..if you’ve met anyone with a Russian accent…I think they knew about Vinogradova.
Papadopoulos: Thinking of it right now, you’re absolutely right.
I’ve made it public – I’ve never knowingly met with any Russian official. I’ve never been to Russia. I don’t have Russian friends. And I don’t even like Russian food. I don’t understand what that means – by a Russian accent. But you’re absolutely right – you’ve put that back in my memory. That was quite strange. And she probably was the only one with a Russian accent to be honest with you.
Bongino: Do you think [Mifsud] was recording you?
Papadopoulos: I definitely think he was and let’s just say I’m under the current understanding that there are probably some transcripts regarding Mifsud and I. I don’t know if that’s ever going to be public – if it is, if it’s not – let’s just say that’s something that’s come across to my mind recently.
Bongino: Are those transcripts going to be exculpatory? Do you push back on him?
Papadopoulos: All I can say about that stuff is, imagine yourself right now. You’re meeting somebody that you have no idea why you’re meeting with him except that he just wants to have lunch. And they drop a bomb on you. It’s as if, you know, I didn’t know what he wanted to talk about, and he just said to me, as I’m sitting there enjoying my omelette:
“George, I have information that the Russians have thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails.”
I couldn’t even finish the piece of food in my mouth as he’s talking to me. And I’m just thinking, ‘is this guy just validating rumors that Judge Napolitano, I think the day before, was openly speculating on Fox News. Many people in the media were speculating about it.’
I was just looking at him, like okay, that’s interesting. This guy’s validating rumors. But how on earth would he have this information. This was going in my mind.
How does he have this information if he couldn’t even introduce me to anyone of substance in the Russian government. Which, actually I was trying to connect with at the time. Just to understand what the US-Russia relationship was all about. Then he drops this information on me and when said it to me, I didn’t find him credible. That’s the truth.
Bongino: You think this guy’s doing some kind of puffery based on news reports to make himself appear connected, when he’s not?
Papadopoulos: This is a guy who just puffed himself up.
Yeah, I thought he could have had some contacts. As I said at the beginning of this, he said that he knew the world, he knew people in Moscow. I just never happened to see them. So when he dropped this information on me I thought he was just validating rumors or trying to puff himself up. That’s the truth.
Bongino: If it’s not you…saying I want those emails and we’re gonna use them to impact the election…the case is over…The case is your meeting with Mifsud.
And the question that comes to my mind, is why are there transcripts with Mifsud. Why was he recording me and who sent him to record me and how does somebody in our government have – or not have – access to those transcripts. We already know that Stefan Halper was recording me. We know that Alexander Downer was recording me. It makes complete sense. Mifsud, who was tied into this trifecta, was recording me. And you know what, if he was recording me, I really hope those transcripts are public because they completely exonerate me, it’s exculpatory and I had nothing to do with wanting emails, finding emails, or ever disseminating emails. I just wanted to get as far away as possible from this guy, Mifsud.
Bongino: If these transcripts exist, it’s because Mifsud was not a Russian agent.
Papadopoulos: I agree with you on that one.
How would they have access to these transcripts. Why is this person [Mifsud] living openly right now in Europe. Why is he being represented by top law firms in London. Why is his lawyer going public. Who’s helping him hide. He’s living in Europe…
Bongino: You think he’s dead?
Papadopoulos: No, no, no I don’t think he’s dead.
His lawyer, like I said, I think a week ago, went public and said, ‘Everyone, this narrative is uppended. We just need to tell you the truth. This was a western intelligence operation targeted at Papadopoulos.’ I think he’s under hiding. I don’t know who’s helping him, but it’s certainly not Russia.
Bongino: Do you think there was a FISA warrant on you?
Papadopoulos: I do.
I think there was a FISA warrant on me and probably…I think the FISA had to do with my work in the energy business – and in Israel in particular. I think that’s actually what this is all about. Including my case. I think my case is all about the Obama administration, likely the DOJ, and the State Department, having me under tremendous scrutiny due to my contacts in the Middle East and in Israel. Let’s not forget, I was the one that brokered the meeting between Trump and the Egyptian President – Sisi. You don’t just walk into the Egyptian Embassy or call Cairo and have these things happen if you’re not an insider. I had a lot of contacts there, I used to work in the think-tank business in Washington and then I was a private energy businessman. I had these contacts – and just to be frank – when the FBI came to my house in January for the first time, they were questioning me about my ties to Israel. And then all of a sudden, when we go into all these other issues – about hacked emails, Russia, there’s a lot more to my story than most people could possibly even imagine.
Bongino: You may have been on the radar prior [to Trump’s foreign policy team announcement].
Papadopoulos: That’s absolutely right.
I was on the target of some intelligence group – and they definitely knew who I was. And just to make it clear to everyone listening, when I met with Mifsud, when I met with Alexander Downer, and when I met with Stefan Halper, do you know what these people all had in common? They all wanted to talk about my business in the Middle East. And what I was doing regarding advising American Oil companies, etc, etc.
It’s public knowledge now that Stefan Halper, himself, paid me $3,000 to write a report about my expertise in the energy business. So, obviously, I had a target on me for that. I don’t know why. I think it was completely politically motivated, because I haven’t seen evidence to this day of why I would be some sort of agent – or whatever the Obama Administration thought I was – except that it was probably politically motivated to target me and likely put some sort of surveillance on me – and by extension cover the entire Trump Campaign. And that’s why I think there was a FISA. Recent information I’ve understood is leading me to believe that even more so.
Bongino: If there’s another FISA out there on you, this would be earth-shattering information.
Papadopoulos: Well, let me make something even more clear that supports my contention of this FISA allegation I’m making.
In April of 2017, before everyone probably listening to your show even heard the name Papadopoulos. This is April of 2017, before I was arrested, I had, let’s say, two representatives from, one, the most powerful newspaper in our country and another representative from the largest network tv channel in our country reach out to me on back-to-back days – a couple days after Jim Wolf was leaking information to Ali Watkins of the New York Times about a FISA. They both reached out to me in April of 2017 and told me we have information that you had a FISA on you.
Bongino: Did Ali Watkins contact you?
Papadopoulos: No, no, no. I’m not saying Ali Watkins contacted me.
I’m just telling you that two very, very credible sources – one from a very influential newspaper in this country and another from one of the largest network tv channels in this country reached out to me on April 12 and April 13, 2017, to meet. And what did they want to talk about, they wanted to tell me that they had information that there was a FISA on me. When they told me this, I laughed it off. I hadn’t been arrested. I hadn’t been embroiled in what I guess I’m in now. So, I was wondering to myself, how could I have a FISA on me when I don’t know any Russians. I don’t know any Russian government officials. What could that possibly be. After that, that’s when this weird guy gives me the $10,000 – a lot of strange things happen after I was told that.
Bongino: So Charles Tawil approaches you…Can you just paint a picture of how this happens overseas. Because this is a very, very suspect interaction.
Papadopoulos: I’m under the complete impression that Charles Tawil was working on behalf of western intelligence to entrap me. And I’ll explain the set of events leading up to this meeting – to the exchange of money.
I had met this individual, I think, two weeks after the FBI had interviewed me. He just popped into my life, from heaven I guess, and decided that he wanted to talk business of some nature with me. He was introduced to me by this other intermediary [David Ha’ivri, an Israeli activist and author]. I meet with him in Chicago for lunch, and he starts talking very strange to me. He’s a 60-year-old man, very intelligent, seems very well-kept, so I was just listening to see what he wanted to talk about. As soon as I get there, he starts telling me, “you know everyone can hear our conversation right now.’ And I started to feel very suspicious of what this guy was talking to me about. Fast forward to the end of the lunch, he goes to me, and he says, ‘I want you to go to my friend and I want to take a picture of you.’ Now, I’ve had many people take pictures of me during this entire episode and every single one who wanted to do that was connected to some intelligence operation.
Then we go to the summer . I meet him initially in March of 2017. Then, of course, in April I’m told I have a FISA on me. And then I’m in Greece with my girlfriend at the time – in Mykonos.
He [Tawil] emails me and he says, ‘George, I want to come see you to finalize our business agreement. And I said, ‘okay, let’s see what this guy has to talk about.’ He flies into Mykonos, he starts talking very strange to me, to my girlfriend at the time. And I sorta did notice that people were keeping us under some sort of watch while we were in Greece. Things weren’t clicking completely…
Bongino: What makes you believe you were being surveilled.
Papadopoulos: Let me backup.
Before I get to Greece in, let’s say, April or May of 2017, I’m subpoenaed by the Senate. I get stopped by four armed guards at O’hare airport in Chicago, as I’m trying to board my plane, where they’re asking me if I’m planning on returning to the US. I get to Greece, and it’s low-season, I’m at a bar and my friend tells me, ‘look behind you.’ I look behind me and there’s these four guys with black sunglasses, black shirts – just staring at me. So, I started to feel there was something really strange going on.
A day later, Charles Tawil then comes to me and wants to meet in Mykonos. He starts talking strange to me and my girlfriend, basically asking if my girlfriend at the time was an operative, like he was. And then he says ‘it’s very important for you come to Israel so we can finalize this agreement.’ I, to this day, never understood what on earth this person wanted to do except set me up.
He invites me to Israel, and he puts me in a room with these ex-Israeli intelligence people. I had absolutely no idea why I was in this room. And they were talking to me about some program of theirs that the CIA and the FBI were clients of – that helped with social media manipulation.
Immediately, when I was stuck in this room with this person and these individuals – I knew I was being framed and I was being entrapped. Because that’s not obviously what I was supposed to be doing when I went to Israel. As soon as that meeting ends, he takes me to a hotel, were I’m completely terrified – I was texting my girlfriend at the time, ‘how do I get out of here, I think this guy is going to kill me.’
We’re in a room, and he’s like, ‘come into my room, I need to talk to you.’ He hands me $10,000 in US bills – $100 bills. Right there and then, I said, if I don’t take this money this guy could possibly kill me, or if I take the money, let me get out of here, leave Israel and just tell him to take his money and never contact me again. And that’s exactly what happened. I take the money, I then fly to Greece a couple days later. I contact him and I tell him, ‘come take your money, I don’t want you contacting me again.’ And he tells me, ‘I don’t want my money.’ Now, that for me was incredibly suspicious. He never wanted his money back. I offered him his money back. The money is still with my lawyers actually in Greece at this moment. And three or four days after that exchange, I’m arrested at the airport and I have FBI agents looking for money in my bag. It’s an incredible, insane story, but it’s true.
Bongino: When you left the money behind, you had the feeling you were being set up? So that money’s still there?
Papadopoulos: Not only did I feel I was completely set up, that’s exactly why I told them ‘come get your money and don’t ever contact me again.’ I’m actually trying to bring that money back somehow, so that Congress can investigate it. I’m 100% sure those are marked bills, and to see who was actually running this operation against me. I think Congress can figure that out without me.
Bongino: Paint a picture for me of the airport scene…You haven’t been tipped off by anybody? You walk into the airport with virgin eyes on this?
Papadopoulos: Virgin eyes, except just having a strong sixth sense I guess. Thank goodness I followed that and my girlfriend at the time was telling me that this guy was just up to no good and he just set you up.
I get to the airport…you don’t get arrested in the violent manner the way I was for a lying charge. So, I get to the airport, there’s agents waiting for me, I’m handcuffed, I’ve never been arrested before. And I was thinking, is this all for lying.
Bongino: Are you arrested before clearing customs or after.
Bongino: Did you fill that blue slip out – the custom slip.
Papadopoulos: I don’t remember, but all I know is I never got to passport control.
Bongino: You don’t know what happened to that Blue Slip – did they take it from you?
Papadopoulos: I can’t remember, I can’t remember.
Bongino: See, that would be interesting. It would explain away a lot of what the $10,000 and the money and the declaration – but they need the declaration form first, because you would have to sign it.
Bongino: Do they grab you right off the plane?
Papadopoulos: I get on the shuttle train…everyone’s exhausted – I just got off a transatlantic flight. I hadn’t slept in about 20 hours. It’s probably like 7:00 at night.
And I notice these two guys in crisp suits and ties, and I say these guys are probably agents of some sort. And before I get to passport control, I’m basically detained and people are looking through my bag – and looking for money, I think. And then, you’re under arrest, kinda thing.
Bongino: So they arrested you right there. Did they talk to you, then arrest you – or did they tell you you’re under arrest and then interview you?
Papadopoulos: ‘You’re under arrest,’ and then tried to interview me, and then I just told them I want my lawyer now because I have no idea what’s going on…so everything, you have to understand, this was summer of 2017, before…
Bongino: Did they show you a warrant?
Bongino: So what were you under arrest for?
Papadopoulos: I never understood why I was under arrest until I got in front of the Magistrate the next day and there were charges there [lying to the FBI & obstruction]. I never understood why I was being detained or why I was under arrest.
Bongino: Ask your lawyer exactly how you were arrested. Was it a probable cause arrest or was there a complaint drawn up in an arrest warrant…What I’m trying to get at is somebody panicked at the last minute…nobody shows up in federal law enforcement at the airport with no warrant. No way.
Papadopoulos: I think Politico wrote an article about this. It was Josh Gerstein – wrote some article about it. My understanding, as I said, I had no idea why I was being arrested until the next day in front of the magistrate – I heard lying to the FBI and obstruction. I have to agree with you, I think it was rushed and there was probably a reason for that. I don’t know why that happened though.
Bongino: I want to go down these lists of people and when you got suspicious that there was something serious going on…You’re suspicious of Mifsud…when he drops that bombshell on you?
Papadopoulos: That’s exactly when I got suspicious of Mifsud – was on that April 26 meeting – and that’s when I started to distance myself from that person as much as possible.
Bongino: What about Sergei Millian?
Papadopoulos: Sergei Millian is another very strange character in this whole thing.
I think he was also working on behalf of some organization to target me. One of his associates during the inauguration told me he was working for the FBI. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t have proof except with what one of his associates told me. I can just say that this person tried to set me up in a financial crime of some sorts.
Bongino: How many people who wanted to give you money is incredible.
Papadopoulos: Dan, I had women thrown at me and money all the time. Everybody wanted to entrap Papadopoulos. Including Halper, by the way, which we haven’t gotten to. He had this little honey pot trying to seduce me for another whole thing. But, we’ll get to that later.
Millian reaches out to me out of the blue in July 2016 and he tells me I’m a former associate of Trump. ‘I work on his Trump Hollywood stuff. I would like to meet with you.’ So, initially I thought, you know, this guy’s connected to Trump and he just wants to meet and just figure out who I am and things like that. I meet with him one time or so in New York and I see him pull out his phone and put it in front of the table and right away I think this guy’s recording me for some reason. I didn’t understand what it was.
I don’t see him again. And then he contacts me out of the blue in late September/October – this is around the time there was another FISA warrant – the Page FISA was in October. He’s like, ‘I would like to come to Chicago and talk to you just one last time – I have a very interesting proposal that you might be interested in if you want to join the private sector.’ I said okay – I have nothing to lose. Let me hear what this guy has to talk about. It might be something Trump-related or not Trump-related.
He comes to me, ‘I have a deal for you, for $30,000 a month, a great office in Manhattan, it’s simply PR for, I think he said some ex-minister in Russia. But the qualifier is you have to work for Trump at the same time – in his administration – and you can’t tell anybody.’
As he’s telling me, I just want the listeners to have my eyes for a moment. He has a scarf around his neck. He’s sweating. His eyes are bogged out and he’s pacing back and forth as he’s dropping this incriminating information on me. I tell him to his face, ‘Listen, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m not interested and I think you should just leave.’ So, he leaves. I don’t see him again. I go to the inauguration and one of his associates tells me he [Millian] was working for the FBI. I don’t know what that’s about. If he was, if he wasn’t. The guy’s fallen off the face of the planet and no one’s been able to find him or reach him – similar to Josef Mifsud. My story’s filled with all these really interesting, shady characters that I can’t put a finger on and I hope somebody does very soon.
Bongino: There’s credible reporting out there, George, that Sergei Millian may in fact be “Source D” in the dossier…Did you smell something wrong with this right away? Do you realize…this is a setup?
Papadopoulos: Of course, absolutely. And that’s why I described the environment – because I remember it so vivid.
This is a meeting from probably over two years ago. But I remember it like it just happened – because it was so bizarre. I mean every single meeting that was incredibly bizarre, including Stefan Halper, Josef Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Charles Tawil and Sergei Millian. These five people made such an impression on me because of how bizarre their behavior was. I can’t forget them. And not only can’t I forget them, they’re all major characters in this operation of some nature by various parties to try and sabotage Trump and his campaign.
Bongino: Stefan Halper contacts you, correct? You do not contact Stefan Halper?
Papadopoulos: I had no idea who Stefan Halper was until he emailed me out of the blue on I think September 2nd 2016, where he basically wanted to pay me to hear my thoughts on, as I stated earlier, my connections to Israel and the energy business as a whole. This is probably the strangest encounter I had because it directly links the British, I think, in SpyGate.
The British certainly were targeting the campaign. And so were the Australians.
I get to London, and he has an associate of his, this young lady named Azura Turk. She didn’t fit the profile of a Cambridge assistant. She was very provocative, scantily dressed. She wants to try and seduce me and get me to say things that aren’t true, for example about Russia and all this nonsense. I basically say, ‘okay, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ The next day, Stefan Halper…
Bongino: She starts asking you about Russian emails as well?
Papadopoulos: Yes. That was my understanding, yes.
Bongino: So, they think you’re gonna fall into this honey-trap…and spit out that you’re the centerpiece of a major Russian collusion conspiracy?
Papadopoulos: That’s exactly, I guess what their fantasy was.
Now here’s where it gets strange. Now we have the Turkish government involved. This was a Turkish national meeting with me – she was part of an operation. Azura Turk, just for everyone to understand, was a Turkish national – she wasn’t American. This is why it leads me to believe this was possibly a CIA or MI6 operation – and not necessarily FBI – even though the current narrative is it’s FBI. I meet with her. I really don’t understand why I’m talking to her.
The next day I meet with Stefan Halper – and he’s belligerent. He’s very hostile to me – in particular about my ideas about the energy business, about Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Greece. He hates Trump. I’m starting to wonder why did this guy pay me to come out here. He paid me for a five-star hotel, my flight included. And good money to write a report. But he was really not interested in that topic. He’s really more interested in belittling Trump and wanting to hear things about Russia.
The next day, as I’m trying to leave, as I’m going back home – or the next day, I should say – he pulls his phone out and he says I want to meet with you. So we meet over drinks and he pulls his phone out, so right away I think this guy’s doing something that he shouldn’t be doing, and he tells me, ‘George, it’s obviously in your interest to be working with Russia, to hack emails, and that the Russians are helping you and that you’re complicit in this conspiracy, isn’t that right, George?’ These open-ended, very strange things.
And I told him flat-out, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. What you’re talking about is treason. I have zero information about what you’re talking about and neither does anyone on the campaign. So, just leave me alone.’
And, I think that John Solomon from The Hill – he’s written a pretty interesting piece about that where I guess Halper really was reporting me and that information was in there. About me telling Halper ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about – so just stay away from me.’ So, I guess that was part of the exculpatory evidence that never was presented…
Bongino: How did that meeting end?
Papadopoulos: He’s very mad. He’s sweating. He just basically finishes his drink and storms out of the bar and just tells me to go.
Now here’s something that I don’t know if anyone realizes. As I’m meeting Stefan Halper, who invites me to also meet the same day – during this operation. The British Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They roll out the red carpet for me. And they want me to meet Tobias Ellwood. A simple google search of Tobias Ellwood will show you that he was the number two to Boris Johnson at the time that he wanted to meet with me. This guy, Tobias Ellwood, was trying to meet with me for months. They met with me in London at the time and the British were keeping tabs on me for months before and after the Halper meeting. And recent information, and articles that have come out, have shown that the British were complicit in the spying operation against the campaign. I don’t know to what extent – they were tasked only with me – but they’re incredibly complicit in this operation against the campaign as well.
Bongino: What you’re saying has already been reported by left-leaning media outlets. There’s nothing conspiratorial about this at all…Your British connection is already documented.
Papadopoulos: Absolutely. Absolutely. And Stefan Halper, the British government and including Downer – by the way, I don’t know if we got to Downer, if we did earlier, or if we didn’t.
Bongino: Not yet. Let’s get to him now.
Papadopoulos: So everyone understands, the current narrative is that I was in a bar randomly drunk and Alexander Downer stumbles upon me, he’s drunk and we’re talking about conspiracy. That’s, I guess, what the current fake narrative is. Now let me explain to everyone what the truth is.
This was no random meeting. This meeting was orchestrated and it was made through three intermediaries. The first intermediary was an Israeli diplomat, named Christian Cantor, in London, who despised Trump, who one day told me after Trump’s foreign policy speech, I want to introduce you to my girlfriend. Now who was this person’s girlfriend? She just happened to be an Australian intelligence officer and the assistant to Alexander Downer, named Erika Thompson. Now I meet with her and she’s belligerent, calling Trump a pariah, that it’s a horrible campaign and Trump will never win, kind of thing.
So, I’m listening to these peoples’ opinions. And then I have an interview with the Times of London – which is the most powerful newspaper in London. In this newspaper interview, I basically state that David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK, should retract or apologize – retract his comments about Trump being an idiot for his Muslim Ban comments. And that he should reach out to Trump in a more productive manner, because he’s likely going to be the next president. Now, that same night, all over the UK and around the world, there was some title along the lines of, ‘Trump demands apology from Cameron.’ It was a very sensationalized title that brought a lot of heat on me – including from US intelligence people in the UK.
The day after this, for everyone keeping track, this is May 2, 2016. The day after that interview, I have two guys, Americans, from the US embassy, reaching out to me, which I think were DIA people. And they tell me, we want to meet with you. Their names are Gregory Baker and Terrence Dudley. I think Terrence Dudley is still at the London Embassy right now as a navy attache. They want to meet with me. They’re wining me, they’re dining me – as if I was Marilyn Monroe or some beautiful woman – something that just never made sense to me. They’re spending a lot of money on me, their probing me, they’re asking me about my ties in the Middle East – let’s go back to that theme. They’re asking me about what Trump wants to do with Russia. I said, ‘look, I don’t know.’ Basically, I’m just deflecting them.
A day after these guys reach out to me, this is May 5th now, I have Erika Thompson message me and say ‘Hi George, I would just like to let you know that Alexander Downer just wants to meet with you. Alexander Downer, for all the listeners, this isn’t a random low-level Australian diplomat. This man ran the equivalent of the CIA in Australia for 17 years. He was the foreign minister and he was their biggest diplomat in London. And ‘he wants to meet with you over drinks.’
On May 10th I go to this meeting, so remember, I have an Israeli diplomat, I have an Australian intelligence officer, I have this strange interview with the Times of London, I have US intelligence officers. And then Downer meeting with me. So this wasn’t a random meeting. This was all very orchestrated.
I go to meet Downer, within one minute or two minutes of sitting down with this person, he pulls his phone out of his pocket and he starts holding it up to me, as if he’s filming me or taking a picture, or something very strange. That is why I was always under the suspicion that this guy was filming me, recording my conversation. And now there’s evidence that he was actually recording this conversation. And he didn’t want to talk about the US-Australian relationship. He basically was there to pass a message along from the UK to Trump to stop supporting Brexit. Remember, Brexit, I think everyone was worried about it at the time in the UK. And that Trump is a pariah. I never in my life talked about emails with this person.
Bongino: He doesn’t bring up this email thing at all?
I’m telling you I have zero – like I said, I remember so much about this meeting and I have zero memory whatsoever of ever talking about emails, so I’m confident that I never did talk about emails. I have no memory of talking about emails.
Bongino: Does Hillary come up?
Papadopulos: I’ll get to that in one second – how she came up.
What Downer has done, in subsequent interviews he’s given, lately, is he’s contradicted himself at least three times about what was actually said at this meeting. Not even Downer knows what he’s talking about.
People always ask me, ‘well, how would he know, how would he pass this information – apparently.’ I say, ‘how would Mifsud know?’ Mifsud knew it the week before Downer did.
I also find it very strange that Downer just wanted to meet around 10 days after Mifsud tells me this information. The whole thing seems very strange and very orchestrated.
Bongino: Almost like they were trying to pull the information they pushed into you through Mifsud out, to use to set up you as the middleman.
Papadopoulos: Yeah. I completely agree with what you’re saying.
Bongino: It seems that there were multiple interactions with you…to try to get you to just volunteer this information about these Russian emails – or this Russian dirt – the information they pushed into you. But you’re not giving it up because there’s nothing to give. So, that’s when I think Downer – and maybe the frustration sets in. But what I’m still perplexed about, is how would the New York Times – where are they getting this information from…Were you drunk?
Papadopoulos: Absolutely not. I had one drink. Downer had one drink. The meeting was not a pleasant one at all. No one was sitting there drinking or getting drunk.
Bongino: Why do you think they invested so much of their journalistic integrity into putting out this article based on a source that there was this big conversation about you talking about emails – if both you and Downer, the two participants – both of you are saying it didn’t happen. What are we missing?
Papadopoulos: You know what, this is my theory, I believe, like we said, there was a lot of disinformation. This was a disinformation campaign. This whole operation was just orchestrated to have me set up in various traps.
What I really think happened, is that Stefan Halper’s role was to cover for Alexander Downer, so that Alexander Downer would never have to be revealed as a source for this potential fake information. Obviously, there were recordings of Halper, so even if he wanted to say Papadopoulos said this, if I didn’t say it, they could never have used it. So what I think happened is, they found this mope, Alexander Downer, who for all the listeners out there, he invested $25 million into the Clinton Foundation. He was part of the uranium stuff with Russia. He’s a big Clinton ally. And I think he was just willfully part of this group that was used to just create this fake story that Papadopoulos told me this information and he’s just used as a pretext for an investigation. There’s absolutely no other explanation because I never remember telling him this information about emails. In his interviews he’s given, he himself has stated the same thing, that Papadopoulos never mentioned emails. So, I don’t know what’s going on except that somebody may have screwed up.
Bongino: They throw all these people out at you, they’re not getting anything. Everything fails. Finally, the agency, or some folks working with Halper go, ‘Hey, brother, this is our last shot. You better get this information about these emails out of George.’ That explains why he’s sweating and he was getting angry at you when you weren’t talking about the emails.
Papadopoulos: Exactly. Think of it this way.
Let’s say I told Alexander Downer that information in May – let’s just assume for a minute. Why then, would you need Stefan Halper – four months later – to come out of the blue and try and make me repeat apparently the same thing I just told Alexander Downer. Isn’t Alexander Downer a strong enough witness – especially if he was recording my conversation. What was the point of Halper. He’s a very important person in this entire saga and we need to get to the bottom of what he was really up to.
Bongino: He is a source to cover their use of foreign intelligence people who were in diplomatic posts.
Bongino: One last question. Glenn Simpson…says on the record, he believed there was a source inside the Trump Campaign…Do you have any idea who that could have been?
Papadopoulos: I think I have an idea, but I can’t share that unfortunately.
But I’m certain that there was a spy within the Campaign. There might have been more. Maybe Simpson was talking about another spy. It might not be the same person that I know was spying.
Bongino: You’re confident there was someone actively inside the Trump Campaign that was not there to help the Trump Campaign, but was in fact feeding information to another entity.
This is a person that probably no one has really heard of. He was a low-level player, but he was connected to our intelligence people. That information will definitely come out. Congress knows who it is. And I’m sure in a report, or whatever their going to release, they’ll probably be releasing him as a confidential source. Because I think America deserves to know the truth.
Bongino: Folks, that was George Papadopoulos. George, I really appreciate your time.
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