George Papadopoulos was one of the five members of President Donald Trump’s national-security advisory team whom he named to The Washington Post in March 2016.
He later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian individuals. Papadopoulos’s inclusion on Trump’s national-security team drew attention at first because of his near total lack of foreign-policy experience: A 2009 college graduate, he worked as an energy lawyer and briefly as an adviser to Ben Carson’s presidential campaign; at the time, his LinkedIn profile reportedly touted his role at a 2012 Model United Nations conference in Geneva (the reference appears to have since been deleted). According to the plea deal he ultimately signed with the FBI, shortly after Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign, a professor in Italy with connections to Russian intelligence (since identified as the Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud) approached Papadopoulos and informed him of Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.” Mifsud also introduced Papadopoulos to a woman who Mifsud claimed was Vladimir Putin’s niece (identified in the document as the “Female Russian National;” her identity is not yet publicly known). According to the plea agreement, Papadopoulos sent multiple emails to his superiors on the Trump campaign regarding his conversations with Mifsud and the Female Russian National. On October 30, 2017, it was revealed that Papadopoulos had been arrested in July and pleaded guilty in early October to lying about his contacts with Mifsud and the “Female Russian National.” (Photo credit: LinkedIn)