Who is George Papadopoulos, the Trump Campaign Adviser Who Suggested a Meeting with Russian Leaders?

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George Papadopoulos, not pictured here, was a foreign policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. He also worked for the campaign of Ben Carson, right, pictured here with Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, who has been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller. Joe Raedle/Getty

When Donald Trump was running for president, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to his campaign, suggested the candidate meet with Russian leaders, The Washington Post reported Monday evening. 

In March 2016, in an email to the campaign’s foreign policy team, Papadopoulos suggested he coordinate “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump,” the Post reported, citing internal campaign emails turned over to congressional committees. Those committees are investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. Robert Mueller, the Department of Justice special counsel, is overseeing a separate FBI probe on the same subject.

Related: Kremlin behind Trump Jr. meeting, opponent testifies

When he was part of the Trump campaign, Papadopoulos received attention for his youth. At the time, the Post’s Jia Lynn Yang pointed out his listing Model United Nations as a credential on LinkedIn. (Newsweek attempted to reach out to Papadopoulos through this account, but he was not immediately available for comment). According to the LinkedIn account that appears to belong to Papadopoulos, he graduated from DePaul University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government. He then received master’s degrees from University College London and the London Schol of Economics. After graduating, he worked from 2011 to 2015 as a research associate at the Hudson Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

When the 2016 presidential election season was gearing up, he first worked as an adviser to the campaign of Dr. Ben Carson before switching in May 2016 to the Trump team, according to the LinkedIn account. 

Since Trump took office, the account lists him working as an independent oil, gas and policy consultant.

The initial Russia offer by Papadopoulos apparently went nowhere, as other members of the foreign policy team rejected the suggestion, according to the Post. Papadopoulos persisted, emailing then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in April 2016, “Putin wants to host the Trump team when the time is right.” He also forwarded campaign members an email from Ivan Timofeev, a senior official in the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council, about coordinating a Trump visit to Moscow. Again, campaign members, including Paul Manafort, whose Virginia home the FBI raided in July, rejected the suggestion.

But months later, in June 2016, Manafort, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who had promised disparaging information about Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. has said he did nothing wrong by attending the meeting. But William Browder, a financier and longtime critic of the Russian government, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July that the lawyer was probably trying to initiate an agreement on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin.