Former Trump campaign adviser George Papdadopoulos, who was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison for making false statements to investigators, says he “might have” told members of the Trump campaign about Russia having damaging information on Hillary Clinton but “can’t guarantee” it because he has “no recollection of doing so.”
“As far as I remember, I absolutely did not share this information with anyone on the campaign,” Papadopoulos said in a CNN interview that aired Friday.
“I might have, but I have no recollection of doing so,” he added. “I can’t guarantee. All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign.”
When asked by The New York Times about whether his lack of denial leaves some room for people to believe that he passed the information to the campaign, Papadopoulos responded, “that’s all I can say.”
“I don’t think I’m really leaving myself any wiggle room at all because probably 99 percent of my communication with the campaign was over email,” he continued.
The Hill added:
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to one count of lying to FBI agents last October in the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and whether the Trump campaign was involved.
Papadopoulos was told by a Kremlin-linked professor that Russia has thousands of emails that could damage Clinton’s bid for the presidency. The adviser then told an Australian diplomat about the development, a fact the FBI used to open an investigation into Russia’s election interference.
The former outside adviser cooperated with prosecutors, but special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has indicated it did not bear much fruit and moved ahead with sentencing.
If Papadopoulos did inform the campaign about damaging information possessed by the Russians, it could add fodder to Mueller’s investigation probing whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion during the 2016 election, calling the Russia probe a “witch hunt.”