There was no collusion between the Russians and US President Donald Trump in the lead up to the 2016 election.
That’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s definitive conclusion.
But was there collusion between former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s campaign with the UK and Australia?
According to former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, there certainly was.
Papa preaches, round two
The Australian government, as you’d expect, has dismissed Papadopoulos’ recirculating claims of Alexander Downer, our former commissioner to the UK, being a spy in a ‘deep state’ plot prior to the 2016 US presidential election.
As a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs told AAP:
‘Our diplomats routinely and openly engage with election campaigns overseas, including US presidential campaigns,’ a spokesperson told AAP.
‘The Australian government categorically rejects any allegation that it sought somehow to interfere in the US presidential election.’
We covered the first round of these claims here on The Australian Tribune last year.
Now, after spending two weeks in the can in 2018 for lying to the FBI, Papadopoulos is doing a promotional book tour across the US for his new book, Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.
Any guesses on what the subject matter might be?
Deep State Target grasping at straws
In the book, Papadopoulos gives his account of the London drinks with Downer six months prior to Trump being elected, which has been credited as one of the first incidents to lead the FBI to open the Russian election meddling investigation.
Papadopoulos denies Downer’s claim that he disclosed Russia had damaging material on Hillary Clinton that he could use in the election lead-up.
This denial seems to rest on the minor detail that Downer said he reported the information to Canberra ‘the following day’, whereas The Wall Street Journal, reported that the information was directly passed on to the US embassy in London.
Other chapters include how Papadopoulos’ Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act file can reveal the roles Australia and the UK played in the lead-up to the election, were it to be declassified.
‘I also believe that whatever is in there it is so damaging to both the Australians and the UK that there is a reason they have been the most adamant partners imploring President Trump not to declassify my file,’ Papadopoulos said.
Papadopoulos also says congressional sources have revealed that a transcript exists of his London bar conversation with Downer.
But he’ll probably save that for the sequel.
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