WASHINGTON â? The White House on Wednesday denied that senior staff upon President Trumpâs 2016 campaign urged foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos to meet with Russian officials within Moscow, contradicting a key claim within the former stafferâs sworn statement in order to special counsel Robert Mueller.
âMy understanding is there wasnât encouragement,â press secretary Sarah Sanders informed reporters at her daily briefing. âHe made multiple attempts at setting up a variety of meetings that were constantly rebuffed.â
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to fees of lying to the FBI regarding contacts with Russia during the 2016 campaign, according to court records unsealed simply by Mueller. On Monday, Sanders informed reporters that âany actionsâ that Papadopoulos took âwould have been on his own.â
Her comments put the girl at odds with one crucial section of Papadopoulosâ? unsealed âStatement of Offense.â In this passage, he says that after several weeks of discussions about setting up a good âoff-the-recordâ meeting with Russian officials, a good unnamed âcampaign supervisorâ said, âI would encourage youâ in order to âmake the tripâ to Moscow with an additional campaign foreign policy aide when âfeasible.â
A campaign source told Google News that the âsupervisorâ was Mike Clovis, a conservative radio sponsor who was co-chairman of the campaign. Trump has nominated Clovis to be undersecretary of agriculture for research, training and economics â? effectively the particular Department of Agricultureâs chief man of science â? although the former economics teacher has no background in the hard sciences.
The legal documents do not give a detailed accounting of how the Trump campaign managed any overtures through Russia, a flashpoint in Muellerâs investigation into whether the future presidentâs political machine abetted Moscowâs supposed interference in the 2016 election.
On Tuesday, Sanders said Trump acquired no plans to withdraw the particular Clovis nomination. âIâm not aware that any change would be necessary,â she mentioned.