After complaining during George Papadopoulos’ sentencing hearing about President Trump’s use of the term “witch hunt” to talk about the Russia probe, the former Trump campaign aide’s lawyer told reporters outside the courthouse that Trump’s denial about the Russia probe hurt Papadopoulos.
“The problem I have with the fake news Twitters that go out — or the tweets that go out — is that he was tweeting seven days before George was interviewed that — and he’s the president of the United States — that based on all of his information, I would assume and the information he had — that this was a witch hunt. And that it was fake news that Russia had meddled in the election,” Papadopoulos’ attorney, Thomas Breen, told reporters.
“George was listening to his preferred candidate and his president of the United States opining that this was a witch hunt. And obviously it was not,” Breen continues. “But when George went in on January the 27th, he was of the mindset that this was not as significant as we have now all learned it to be.”
Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday for lying to the FBI in a January 2017 interview about contacts with Russia-linked individuals during the campaign.
Breen also addressed Papadopoulos’ contact with Joseph Mifsud, a professor with ties to Russia who claimed to Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
“At the time he was told that, he didn’t really concern himself with that,” Breen said when asked if Papadopoulos believed Russia did have damaging information on Clinton based on his conversation with Mifsud. “He didn’t know if it was somebody just exaggerating or putting some garbage out there. He did not put any credence in that representation.”
Breen also said that while he is not privy to the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Mifsud, he believes the professor “was playing on behalf of Russia.”