Papadopoulos Obscure campaign advisor in center of storm

At just 29, George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign volunteer who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian operatives, sported a relatively thin resume for an advisor to a contender for the White House.

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George Papadopoulos posing on a street in London on his LinkedIn profile play

George Papadopoulos posing on a street in London on his LinkedIn profile

(LINKEDIN/AFP/File)
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At just 29, George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign volunteer who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian operatives, sported a relatively thin resume for an advisor to a contender for the White House.

Papadopoulos was only seven years out of university and with little professional experience when he was named in March 2016 to Republican hopeful Donald Trump's foreign policy team.

Trump, in a meeting with The Washington Post that month, described Papadopoulos as "an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy."

Nineteen months and one guilty plea later Papadopoulos is being derided by now-President Trump as a "low level volunteer" and a "proven liar."

Papadopoulos has not spoken publicly since special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, unveiled his guilty plea on Monday.

He admitted lying to FBI agents in January 2017 about his contacts with individuals claiming ties to Russia, including one who told him that Moscow had "dirt" on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos is also cooperating with the investigation into Russian election meddling, catapulting him from obscure Trump campaign adviser to the center of a storm which has engulfed Washington.

Little was known about Papadopoulos when he was named a member of Trump's foreign policy team in March 2016 and the appointment did raise some eyebrows at the time.

The Washington Post, somewhat derisively, noted in a headline that Papadopoulos listed being the US representative to the 2012 Model United Nations in Geneva as among his credentials.

Other members of the advisory panel included a retired US army lieutenant general who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division and a former inspector general at the Defense Department.

White House says role 'extremely limited'

Papadopoulos's LinkedIn page lists him as a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago and the holder of a master's degree "with honors" from University College London.

It says he was accepted to the prestigious London School of Economics for a second master's degree, in international political economy, but does not say whether he graduated.

Following his studies in London, Papadopoulos said he worked from March 2011 to September 2015 as a research associate at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.

That was followed by four months as an oil and gas consultant in London for a company called Energy Stream.

The Hudson Institute, in a statement, said Papadopoulous was an "unpaid intern in 2011" and "provided research assistance on a contractual basis to one of our senior fellows in 2013 and 2014."

George Papadopoulos (3rd L) during a national security meeting in Washington DC on March 31, 2016 chaired by Donald Trump play

George Papadopoulos (3rd L) during a national security meeting in Washington DC on March 31, 2016 chaired by Donald Trump

(@realDonaldTrump/AFP/File)

"Mr. Papadopoulos was never a salaried employee of Hudson Institute, and the Institute has had no relationship with him since 2014,” it said.

Papadopoulos's LinkedIn profile includes a recommendation from Richard Weitz, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, saying "George is a very productive, outgoing, and enthusiastic member of our team."

From November 2015 to February 2016, Papadopoulos was an adviser to the presidential campaign of neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination in March 2016 and endorsed Trump.

Papadopoulos joined Trump the same month and immediately began trying to organize meetings between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials, according to a statement which accompanied his guilty plea.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought Monday to play down Papadopoulos's role on the campaign, saying it was "extremely limited."

"This individual was a member of a volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year," she said. "I'd hardly call that some sort of regular advisor or, as you want to push, that he's like a senior member of the staff."

Sanders also portrayed Papadopoulos's efforts to organize meetings with the Russians as a failure.

"He reached out and nothing happened beyond that -- which, I think, shows, one, his level of importance in the campaign, and, two, shows what little role he had within coordinating anything officially for the campaign," she said.

Papadopoulos's LinkedIn profile remains online.

In bold letters at the top, he describes himself as "Former Advisor at Donald J Trump for President" followed by a recommendation.

"President Trump recommendation about me: "George is an oil and gas consultant; excellent guy," it says.

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