Life for former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos – who pleaded guilty last year to lying to federal investigators in connection to the Russia probe – and his wife, Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, has gone from “paradise to a living hell” since his indictment.
In a rare interview, given to Chicago’s ABC7 I-Team, Mangiante Papadopoulos said the couple has been forced to move in with her husband’s mother because they can’t find work.
“We deal with a lot of stress, there is not much, mostly George can do. He can't work. He can't interact with anyone related indirectly to Trump," she said. "His life is on hold. And it's very difficult, when you're a young person building your career. Our finances are terrible. No, zero, zero income."
"It went from paradise to hell," she said of their lives since he became embroiled in the Russia/collusion investigation.
Mangiante Papadopoulos also told the news outlet that her husband never had inappropriate contact with Russians, saying he was simply a foreign policy adviser trying to set up a meeting between then-president elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin:
“Now, is that illegal? No, I don't think so,” she said. "He was a foreign policy advisor. He tried organizing a meeting with Egyptian president and he succeeded."
However, according to federal court records, George Papadopoulos had contact with two Russians, as well as a Kremlin-linked professor, throughout his time with the campaign – and the professor, Joseph Mifsud, told the man Trump described as “the coffee boy” that the Russians had dirt on rival Hillary Clinton.
Still, Mangiante Papadopoulos believes the pair are suffering unfair treatment, and she revealed to the news outlet that her husband hopes to be granted a pardon from Trump.
Mangiante Papadopoulos said she hoped her new husband wouldn't face jail time and she has asked for a pardon from President Donald Trump, whose campaign he worked for in 2016, and to whom he still has loyalty.
Trump is said to be considering clemency for several thousand people convicted of federal crimes, including ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but the president has never mentioned Papadopoulos' name in the same breath with possible pardons.