Papadopoulos sentenced, maintains he never told campaign about Russian dirt

Two weeks. That plus a year of probation and some community service is what George Papadopoulos was sentenced to today for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian operatives. From Fox News:

Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Papadopoulos was also sentenced to 13 months supervised release, 200 hours community service and a $9,500 fine. Before his sentencing, the former adviser said he was “deeply embarrassed and ashamed.”

“My entire life has been turned upside down, I hope to have a second chance to redeem myself,” he said. Mueller’s team had pushed for a six-month prison sentence, while Papadopoulos’ defense had requested probation…

In delivering his sentence Federal Judge Randolph Moss said he did “get the sense that [Papadopoulos] does feel remorse and not simply for getting caught.”

Just after his sentencing, Papadopoulos gave an interview to Jake Tapper of CNN. The headline here is that Papadopoulos says he didn’t share information about the Russians having dirt on Hillary with the campaign, but he can’t completely rule it out either:

The young political operative maintains that he never alerted the Trump campaign about the Russian dirt. But when pressed, Papadopoulos refused to completely shut the door on the possibility that the information made its way to other people on the campaign.

“As far as I remember, I absolutely did not share this information with anyone on the campaign,” Papadopoulos said, adding, “I might have, but I have no recollection of doing so. I can’t guarantee. All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign.”

Papadopoulos also gave an interview to the NY Times in which he offered a bit more detail about why he didn’t share the information after he received it. He met with Mifsud in late April and Mifsud claimed Russia had Hillary’s emails:

MAZZETTI: So what’s your reaction to that?

PAPADOPOULOS: Initially, I felt that he was validating a rumor, because at the time, contrary to popular belief, there are were people talking about it in the international media that perhaps Hillary Clinton’s private server was compromised by foreign intelligence. So, of course, I was shocked because this is, you know, he’s talking about a potential crime, or it was a crime, but I had also heard rumors in the media at the time.

MAZZETTI: But you know, so, you don’t remember — you don’t remember ever telling anyone, emailing anyone, messaging anyone, “Hey, there’s a bunch of dirt about Hillary Clinton. This could help the campaign.” Anything like that?

PAPADOPOULOS: I have no recollection of that at all, no.

MAZZETTI: Some might think that, the way you’re phrasing this, makes it sound like you’re leaving yourself some wiggle room. Saying, “I have no recollection.”

PAPADOPOULOS: That’s all I can say. I mean, actually, and the reason why I don’t know how much wiggle room — I don’t think I’m really leaving myself any wiggle room at all because probably 99 percent of my communication with the campaign was over email. You know, I was living in London. You know, I met some officials face to face very briefly. So the place I would have potentially sent this information — I think it’s public — I mentioned to Stephen Miller I’m receiving interesting messages from Moscow about a meeting, when the time is right. That was the same day that I had received that information. I think I had a scheduled call with Miller that same day, never went through, and perhaps that’s where it went. It just stayed in my mind.

Personally, I still find it hard to fathom that Papadopoulos would have let something like this fall by the wayside. On the other hand, it’s not hard to see why a guy who just got busted and sentenced for lying is a bit gun shy about making flat statements.

As for President Trump, he briefly mentioned the case today during a trip on Air Force One, saying he didn’t know Papadopoulos but that the FBI got him on “a couple of lies.”

Here’s the CNN report including a couple of snippets of the interview with Papadopoulos. This also goes into the other potentially newsworthy point Papadopoulos is making, i.e. his recall of how AG Sessions responded to his offer to set up a photo op with Putin is at odds with Sessions’ own testimony.