Fiancee: Trump aide no ‘coffee boy’
GEORGE Papadopoulos was no mere "coffee boy" to the Trump campaign, the disgraced foreign-policy adviser's fiancee says.
The New York Post reports that Mr Papadopoulous - who pleaded guilty to lying to the feds about his contacts with Russian officials - played an important role in the campaign, wife-to-be Simona Mangiante told ABC News, blasting the president's claims that her beau was just a "low-level volunteer."
Mr Papadopoulos was "constantly in touch with high-level officials in the campaign," Ms Mangiante said in the interview - adding that he "set up meetings with leaders all over the world" for senior campaign officials.
The 28-year-old pleaded guilty in October to making "false statements" during an interview with FBI agents about a Russia-connected, London-based professor who offered "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
Following the guilty plea, President Donald Trump wrote in a tweet about Papadopoulos: "Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar."
Another Trump campaign adviser described Mr Papadopoulos as a "coffee boy."
The Italian quipped to ABC News that while Mr Papadopoulos was a good man, he is no barista.
"First of all, I would love George to learn how to make a coffee, because it's absolutely out of his skills," she revealed.
"George is a remarkable young man with incredible experience in the field of energy and oil policies. This experience led him to get into the campaign and to advise the president at only 28 years old."
Ms Mangiante also claimed that Mr Papadopoulos had direct communication with former Trump advisers Steven Bannon and Michael Flynn, noting that she had personally seen correspondence between the parties.
The fiancee said she has proof that Mr Papadopoulos was in the know - but her lawyers instructed her not to provide emails to the news media.
"He never took any initiative, as far as I know, [that was] unauthorised. All the initiatives had [the] blessing of the campaign," she told ABC News.
Ms Mangiante identified the London professor as Professor Joseph Mifsud, and said she believes he approached Mr Papadopoulos "precisely because he was working for Trump."
Ms Mangiante, an Italian citizen, says she was also questioned by the FBI about the professor and her work as a political aide for the European Parliament in Brussels.
She told the network she decided to speak out because of how her fiancee's role in the campaign was downgraded by the Trump administration.
"He was very brave and decent to take responsibility" for lying to the FBI, she said. "George is very loyal to his country."
"He is already on the right side of history. I think he will make a big difference," Ms Mangiante said, adding that she believes Papadopoulos will be remembered as "the first domino in the Russia investigation."
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished her with permission