Trump’s Foreign Policy Adv. Called Selling Political Access “The Cleanest Job"
Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos is mentioned hundreds of times in the Justice Department inspector general’s report on the FBI’s Russia investigation released this week — but one mention is particularly noteworthy.
Papadopoulos’ character comes shining through in a section describing a discussion between the former Trump campaign adviser and an individual identified only as ‘Source 3.’
At the end of October 2016, Papadopoulos and Source 3 engage in a consensually recorded conversation during which the former brags about his Russia connections before declaring that he must find a way to “monetize” those connections.
Papadopoulos tells the individual that he had been “on the front page
of Russia's biggest newspaper” a few weeks prior for an interview, adding that he did not "understand why the U.S. has such a problem with Russia."
He went on to say that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “exudes power, confidence.” When Source 3 asked if he had ever met Putin, Papadopoulos said “that he was invited ‘to go and thank God I didn't go though.’ Papadopoulos said that it was a ‘weird story’ from when he ‘was working at ... this law firm in London’ that involved a guy who was ‘well connected to the Russian government.’"
The report says Papadopoulos also told Source 3 that he had met “Putin’s niece” and the Russian Ambassador in London, but he did not elaborate on the story.
From there, the Republican said he needed to determine “how I’m going [to] monetize it.”
“I’d have to be an idiot not to monetize it, get it?” Papadopoulos said. “Even if [Trump] loses. If anything, I feel like if he loses probably could be better for my personal business because if he wins I'm going to be in some bureaucracy I can't do jack ... , you know?”
He told Source 3 that people who are not even smart are making money from their connections: "Do you know how many Members of Congress I've met that know jack ... about anything? Except what their advisors tell them? ... They can barely put a sentence together .... I'm talking about Members of Congress dude."
Papadopoulos said he knew "a lot of Ambassadors ... [and] a lot of Presidents,” adding that he needed to “to sit down and systematically write who I know, what they want, and how I can leverage that because if you know like government guys and ambassadors you should be making money, that's all I know because there's not one person I know who has those connections that isn't making ... money.”
What he had to "sell is access," he said, and "[t]hat's what people pay millions of dollars for every year. It's the cleanest job."