- A former aide to President Donald Trump’s campaign deactivated his Facebook account and got a new cell phone number after interviews with the FBI. George Papadopoulos, the former adviser, was trying to obscure communications he had with Russian-connected individuals. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month for lying to FBI agents about his contact with Russians.
One day after FBI investigators interviewed George Papadopoulos, a former foreign-policy adviser and aide to President Donald Trump’s campaign team, he deactivated his Facebook account, which contained evidence of meetings with Russians.
Six days later, Papadopoulos got a new cell phone number, according to documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Earlier this month, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for lying to FBI agents during a January 27 interview about “the timing, extent, and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials.”
After a second interview with FBI officials on February 16, Papadopoulos scrambled to delete his Facebook account to obscure communications he had with an “overseas professor” with ties to high-level Russian officials.
During the FBI interrogations, Papadopoulos described the professor as “a nothing,” even though it was later revealed he knew the professor had significant ties to the Kremlin.
The court documents say that Papadopoulos “repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the [Trump] campaign and Russian government officials.”
In one instance, according to The New York Times, the professor told Papadopoulos that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.”
After Papadopoulos deleted his Facebook account, he created a new one that did not contain communications with the professor. Shortly thereafter, he began using a new cell phone number.
On July 27, Papadopoulos was arrested upon arriving at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. He has since complied with Mueller’s probe and met with government investigators on numerous occassions to answer questions.