this is the briefing — i'm sally bundock. our top story: the headlines: theresa may has suffered another brexit defeat in the british parliament. mps voted to take control of the parliamentary agenda 0rder! order! order! on leaving the european union. british mps take control of brexit and face a series of votes to find they're now expected to hold a series of indicative votes out how, or if, they to help decide what to do next. want to leave the eu. israel has carried out air strikes in gaza the international criminal court after a rocket is set to investigate after a massacre in mali left more hit a house near tel aviv. gaza's health ministry said seven than 130 people dead. people were injured in the attacks. the palace of the revolution several more missiles plays host to royalty. the prince of wales were fired into israel from the palestinian territory makes history in cuba. on monday evening. the exiled former prime minister of thailand, copyright crackdown — thaksin shinawatra, the eu holds a crucial vote on whether to update copyright rules has said his country's which could be good news general election was rigged. for some tech giants. he claimed the military government had manipulated the result to stay in power. the electoral commission has said in business it will investigate any allegations of irregularities. now on bbc news, hardtalk.
welcome to hardtalk. i am stephen sackur. a massive cloud hasjust evaporated from donald trump's political horizon. special counsel robert mueller found no evidence that the president colluded with the russians during the 2016 presidential election, even though mueller left open the question of obstruction of justice, mueller left open the question of obstruction ofjustice, the president is claiming exoneration. my president is claiming exoneration. my guest has a unique —— perspective on all of this. george papadopoulos was the first campaign member to be convicted as a result of them mueller probe. are we any closer to the truth?
george papadopoulos in new york city, welcome to hardtalk. thank you. you have had a few hours now to digests the news of the headlines that come out of the special counsel's report, as reported by the us attorney general. you have a unique perspective on this. give me your initial response. my your initial response. my initial response is that i feel quite vindicated actually. i would like to echo the president's sentiment where he stated that he felt exonerated to some extent. it is, i guess it really... you are
right, i do have a unique perspective because i am one of the very few people in the world who has actually sat down with mueller, was involved with the donald trump campaign, his transition team and has actually testified in front of the us congress about this particular issue. the entire time, i quite fully understood there would never be any russian collusion and that story would probably amount to something quite different. you were the guy who set this whole thing off in some ways, because you, asa thing off in some ways, because you, as a veryjunior member of the trump campaign, found information back in april 2016, which was one of the key elements of the decision to launch an fbi enquiry into connections between the trump campaign and the russians. do you feel like some kind ofa russians. do you feel like some kind of a full guy today? i think that story about me being the so—called catalyst has been
disabused a bit, actually. just yesterday the congressman stated that the investigation was ongoing in late 2015, early 2016. there is much evidence that suggests that i was actually not the start of it, and secondly, i wouldn't consider myself a so—called junior member of the campaign. i brokered the meeting between candidate trump and the president. i stayed on through the transition team engaging with foreign governments and advising steve bannon, michael lane and other senior member transition officials throughout the transition. well, you have packed a lot into that answer and i want to grow through it in some detail. it strikes me, as you have been convicted of a crime a new survey very short prison sentence and i believe you are still under a community service order as we speak today, you have suffered some severe consequences for what you did, and i do need you to grow through it with
me, because we need to understand 110w me, because we need to understand now that trump, in this question of collusion with the russians, appears to have been "exonerated", we need to have been "exonerated", we need to understand what your relationship was with the trump campaign when you had that meeting in april of 2016 with a gentleman, a multi— —— maltese professor, who gave you the information that the russians had hacked democratic party e—mails, hillary clinton e—mails and that there was dirt which he told you was to be released. you were the first to be released. you were the first to know. yes. let's start to how i met joseph, this mysterious maltese individual, because i think it is very important i lay this out in my book that is being released tomorrow, but i think it is very important for the viewers to understand who this person is and how i met him. i met this person through a contact in london. she and
i were working through the london centre for law practice and she suggested after she found out that i would bejoining the suggested after she found out that i would be joining the trump suggested after she found out that i would bejoining the trump campaign, that i should bow to rome to link campus rome, which if you simply do a google search, you will understand that this is a university in rome which trained western intelligence operatives, including the cia, mi6, they usually host symposiums there as well and that is where i met the so—called russian intermediary. when idid so—called russian intermediary. when i did meetjoseph, in london in april 2016, i did meetjoseph, in london in april2016, | i did meetjoseph, in london in april 2016, i was a member of the trump campaign. yes, this person did tell me that the russians possess hillary clinton e—mails, but what is subject to tremendous scrutiny today and congress and even the department ofjustice in the us today is who actually was joseph, and was ofjustice in the us today is who actually wasjoseph, and was he working on behalf of a different intelligence apparatus and not the russians? i think that is actually
what is coming out now and, quite frankly, goes against the narrative that has been built for the last two yea rs, that has been built for the last two years, i understand that, it is difficult for people to understand but these are the facts. thank you for giving me some of the fa cts thank you for giving me some of the facts there. the bottom line is what really matters about that story is that as of, i believe it was april 2016 you were in possession of explosive information. that is, you had been told that the russians had this dirt, this hacked e—mail information direct from the hillary clinton campaign, and it seems moscow was intent on using it. that gave you something really pretty incredible. you then, as member, let's not forget, the trump campaign team, had decisions to make. do you share it with other trump operatives? what do you do with it? you want us to believe that you never shared that information with the trump campaign, and many, many people over many, many months have struggled to believe that.
i completely understand your suspicion and a lot of people's suspicions. let's not forget mueller has been in possession of my e—mails and phone records, my cellphone, basically everything to do with my entire life over the past five to ten years. at the time where i learned this information by the so—called russian intermediary that the media portrayed him as, i was living in london, and i was living overseas until about june of living in london, and i was living overseas until aboutjune of 2016 while i was corresponding with the campaign, and all of that correspondence was done via e—mail 01’ over correspondence was done via e—mail or over the phone. so, correspondence was done via e—mail or overthe phone. so, if correspondence was done via e—mail or over the phone. so, if that evidence that you suggest did exist, mueller would have certainly presented it in front of the american public and around the world
because i was actually the key question that he wanted to figure out was to did i share this information with? 0bviously, out was to did i share this information with? obviously, the evidence suggest i did not because i simply didn't because i didn't feel joseph mr was a credible person. i explained that in detail. sorry to interrupt, but one of the reason people are suspicious is because you told lies about the entire episode. when the f vi was ultimately alerted to it and of course the fbi became aware of what you knew, because they were told about it by an australian diplomat who you had drinks with a new spill the beans too, when the fbi started investigating you, to figure out what you knew and when you knew it, you told lies to them. why did you do that? 0k, do that? ok, let's look at the facts, though. when i met with the fbi injanuary for my first interview, i did tell them when i was asked the question, have you spoken to a russian government official or intermediary
and how they discussed hacked e—mails with you, i said no, i and how they discussed hacked e—mails with you, isaid no, i have not spoken to a russian government official, but the maltese individual did tell me that the russians possess thousands of hillary clinton bosman e—mails. i told them this during my first interview with them. now, what my apparent lie, that i was convicted about, was not explaining the full extent of my interactions withjoseph, explaining the full extent of my interactions with joseph, and explaining the full extent of my interactions withjoseph, and basic lee dismissing him as a nobody. so why did tell the fbi... and also, if i may, you lied about the timeline. yes, i guess i am is remembered or i lied about when i actually met joseph and the extent of my... yes, thatis joseph and the extent of my... yes, that is absolutely true, but i did tell the fbi during my interview with them that this person told me this information, so that wasn't pa rt this information, so that wasn't part of the live, and that was a misunderstanding of what the actual lie was about. so, you want us to believe that you
didn't tell the trump campaign this explosive information, but at the same time, we know that you are still in london and now we are talking about the period after april 26, and if i may use a colloquialism, you were blabbing to other third parties about what you knew, including the greek foreign 0ffice minister and also, as it turns out, the australian high commissioner, a respected diplomat called alexander downer, the former foreign minister, who then wrote a report to his own government in which he actually at one point made comment and referred to what you told him about having knowledge of russian dirt on the democrats and hillary clinton, which is why it and got back to the fbi. it seems very odd you would be blabbing to all these other people are not telling your own campaign. 0k, your own campaign. ok, let's grow back to alexander downer for a ok, let's grow back to alexander downerfor a moment. first of ok, let's grow back to alexander downer for a moment. first of all, he himself has contested what was actually set at this meeting, which
is very bizarre. i have no recollection whatsoever of ever discussing this information with alexander downer, i said the same exact thing to the fbi and to mueller about a year before that report came out in the new york times, so let's and one point there. secondly, congress has never received official intelligence on the australian government. this is the australian government. this is the house intelligence committee of alexander downer ever sending this so—called cable notifying what my comments were. and third, during my meeting with congress, and ijust wa nt meeting with congress, and ijust want the viewers to understand that i was one of only four witnesses in the entire of the united states to be invited to testify in front of the house oversight committee, along with the other names, james tomey, loretta lynn and sally yates. these we re loretta lynn and sally yates. these were the top three officials of the department ofjustice were the top three officials of the department of justice and were the top three officials of the department ofjustice and then george papadopoulos was also invited to testify. a lot of my testify happen to deal with alexander downer
and his role actually in potentially conspiring with the department of justice. the fact is, you were exposed as a liar, and the fbi says that you damaged their investigations, they would very much like to have gotten hold of this guy who gave you this explosive information in the first place, and they believe they would have had a chance to detain and question him if you hadn't told lies when you first had your encounters with the fbi. you have paid a price, you serve a bit of present time, your reputation has been badly damaged. you are now on a community service order. you now look at the way the trump campaign was operating, your role in it and indeed donald trump then walking away from you and denying that he even knew you were and tweeting things like few people knew that young low—level volunteer named george who was already proving to be a liar. you look at all of that and feel that you have been utterly let
down by trump and his closest associates? quite frankly, the way that my sentencing memorandum was written and crafted and was designed, if i was the president, i would have done the exact same thing. in my memo, we re the exact same thing. in my memo, were names such as the niece of vladimir putin hacked e—mails, prep mysterious professors, diplomats, so the way it was written, i would have certainly probably distance myself the way he did. 0n the other hand, as evidence has been growing and is released and testimonies have been given by not only me, but senior members of the department ofjustice under the 0bama administration, who also now have trump allies such as congressman mark meadows, munoz, others in the administration and the media who have actually turned with me, simply you, yourself or anybody watching this show can read the tweets that congressman mark meadows
has been putting a publicly about me and why it is so important to declassify specific material about my case. now, if i was such a damage to the president or his administration and i was this liar, yes, i lied, administration and i was this liar, yes, ilied, i administration and i was this liar, yes, i lied, i made a mistake and in present time, but if my case was so damning to the administration, the last thing i assure you that of our life in congress of president trump is for my files to be declassified. there is tremendous support now within america for me personally within america for me personally within the media now and even the administration, and quite frankly, thatis administration, and quite frankly, that is all i care about at this point is repairing my name and just making sure the truth comes out there, whether it was something nefarious that was going on in or everything was completely innocent. ijust want everything was completely innocent. i just want the truth out there. that is what this conversation is about. you clearly believe that you were taken down as part of some sort of deep state conspiracy. sure enough, donald trump feels just the same
thing about the overarching mueller investigation and all of the allegations that he and his campaign have faced about the connections with russia. but itjust seems to me that when, as donald trump has waited in the last few hours, the whole investigation was "an illegal takedown" which failed, donald trump is questioning the integrity, the most fundamental sort of trust and integrity that the american people should have in the fbi and the intelligence services and the entire judicial process. is that a healthy thing for the united states of america? the intelligence community is not infallible. it would not be the first scandal that the cia and fbi would be involved in. if it is proven to be as damning as most
republicans now in congress and the administration are now pertaining to bed... with respect, i am not sure most republicans are saying what you and by inference donald trump is saying which is there is a deep state at work basically trying to launch some sort of coup against the elected president of the united states because in essence that is what you and donald trump appear to be suggesting. 0k what you and donald trump appear to be suggesting. ok let's look at the fa cts be suggesting. ok let's look at the facts again. the leadership of the fbi and the doj under the previous administration is either fired, demoted or under investigation. now, thatis demoted or under investigation. now, that is not a coincidence. we have to look at those facts. these are not choirboys we are dealing with. asi not choirboys we are dealing with. as i stated, i come from a background, i studied as i stated, i come from a background, istudied in as i stated, i come from a background, i studied in london, as i stated, i come from a background, istudied in london, i woke into the think tank industry, my career was dedicated with working
with security officials and politicians. i am with security officials and politicians. iam not with security officials and politicians. i am not a conspiracy theorist by any means. the last thing i would ever want to do is talk about this situation... wait a minute, let's be honest about this. when you joined the donald trump tea m when you joined the donald trump team as an unpaid volunteer, you we re team as an unpaid volunteer, you were 28 years old, pretty fresh out of university, you were described by one senior trumpet aid is nothing more than a coffee boy. let us not overestimate your experience in this world... let's go to the facts. again, please. michael caputo, who made this remark was fired during the first few weeks. he was on his way out of the campaign. you can look at that yourself. secondly, by the time ijoined the trump campaign, by the age of 24—26, i was
sitting in one—on—one meetings with prime ministers of various countries. by the time ijoined the trump campaigni countries. by the time ijoined the trump campaign i had worked on the ben carson campaign and lastly, if i was simply a novice to 28 years old i would not be brokering meetings between trump and the egyptian president and have the confidence of various governments around the world, these are the facts. you are right to put whatever facts you want out there but my contention is, if you are perhaps more experience, if you are perhaps more experience, if you had a longer experience in the us governance, would usually not think very hard before making accusations which amount to the us intelligence apparatus, the fbi and many other agencies, all being involved in a deep state coup against president trump it marries up, it matches up with things that
donald trump himself has said. it is the most inflammatory take on what is happening inside the united states government today and frankly you do not have a shred of real evidence to present. you do not have a shred of real evidence to presentlj you do not have a shred of real evidence to present. i do and ijust stated earlier the congressional investigation into this matter. there is a new attorney general looking into this matter. the former head of the entire justice department, of the 0bama administration is either fired, demoted or under investigation themselves... with respect, the fact that men like james comey were fired is simply the fact that donald trump wa nted is simply the fact that donald trump wanted people obedient to him in top agencies like the fbi. wanted people obedient to him in top agencies like the fbii wanted people obedient to him in top agencies like the fbi. i do not believe christopher rae, currently in power, is a person obedient whatsoever to president trump and president trump has his reasons for
firing people, as you saw in the recent revelation of the robert mueller report, there was absolutely no collusion uncovered under after this massive operation. the question you're asking aboutjim comey, there was no evidence about that as well. iamjust was no evidence about that as well. i am just stating the facts and the president has the ultimate authority of who he wants to work with and he is privy to material that you, myself and not even members of congress have access to so he must have reasons to make those decisions. just a final thought, it seems to me that many people around the world watching this would be a little confused about what to make about the release of the bullet point headlines of the robert mueller report because, yes, president trump is claiming exoneration but, on the other hand, we know for sure from all the work
done that the russians did interfere, manipulate and medal in the us presidential election of 2016. general michael hagan, a respected republican who worked in the bush administration saying it was the most influential convert history campaign in the entire history campaign in the entire history of covert history. at the end of this, what really matters is that the russians were responsible for a massive interference in american democracy. would you agree? 0k, firstand american democracy. would you agree? 0k, first and foremost, as i respect our intelligence services, i agree with their assessment and it is likely that the rational some other foreign power interfered. 2016 was unlike any other election in modern political history. i do not disagree
with that, it is likely the russians and other governments try to interfere with the election with the democratic process and i would like to make the point about russia. if you simply look at my academic scholarly work living up to the ben carson campaign and a trump campaign, iwas carson campaign and a trump campaign, i was never carson campaign and a trump campaign, iwas nevera carson campaign and a trump campaign, i was never a fan of russia and of working closely with russia. all my work has been exactly the opposite and that is to contain russia, view it as a competitor and look at areas in which they might be some sort of commonality but that is a difficult thing to find especially as an energy advisor promoting diversification, and working away from russian natural gas. i do agree with your assessment and george papadopoulos as an individual i believe that russia is a competitor
and likely will be steel. you now have a criminal record. do you regret ever getting tied up, involved in the trump campaign?” regret ever getting tied up, involved in the trump campaign? i do not regret it at all. i think it was an event that will never be repeated in history. it was a momentous event, the 2016 election, was a great opportunity. things did not go exactly the way i planned but i see a turn of opinion in the united states towards me. people are becoming more friendly both in government and your everyday american so, yes, it was disappointing and i did make m ista kes disappointing and i did make mistakes and i did apologise publicly about those mistakes. we all make mistakes in life but i do
not believe it was a mistake to joinder this campaign and you never know what is going to happen. i might end up back in politics in some shape form. we will keep tabs on that. for now, george papadopoulos, thank you for being on hardtalk. thank you very much. hello there. if you like your spring weather dry, well, i think you will find plenty to like about this weather forecast. very little rain in the forecast for most of us. we will see dry weather. sunshine amounts will vary. often i think there'll be quite large amounts of cloud but the temperatures as we head towards the end of the week will start to creep upwards. high pressure then in charge of the scene, that's what's keeping things settled and,
as i run the sequence through the next few days, this high—pressure barely moves. so for most of us, things stay pretty dry and quiet. up to the north, notice frontal systems scraping into northern scotland so here we will see patchy rains at times and it will be breezy. for many of us, we're starting tuesday morning on a chilly note, particularly down towards the south, where we've seen the lion's share of the clear skies, but that's where we'll have the best of the sunshine through tuesday morning. the further north and west you are, the more cloud there is likely to be and actually, across the north—west of scotland, there will be some outbreaks of patchy rain. quite breezy in northern scotland as well. elsewhere cloud may be thick enough to squeeze out the odd light shower but the vast majority dry. the afternoon brings a mixture of patchy cloud and sunny spells and thoses temperatures generally between 11 and 1a. get into some sunshine, that will feel quite pleasant. during tuesday night, it looks like we'll see fairly large amounts of cloud, and where the cloud breaks up for any length of time, we are likely to see mist and fog patches developing. as a consequence of all the cloud, it's probably not going to get particularly cold. but if you do keep clear
starry skies overhead for any length of time, don't be surprised if you do get a touch of frost. wednesday, a very similar day. a mixture of cloudy areas and sunny areas. probably brightening up for many places into the afternoon. away from the far north—west of scotland where, again, we will see some outbreaks of rain. but those temperatures may be up by a degree or so. 12—15 degrees, that's a sign of what is to come. high pressure still with us as we move out of wednesday into thursday. not many white lines on the chart at all, not many isobars so the winds will be light, but wind there is will be moving in a clockwise direction. that will introduce a south or south—westerly flow across much of the uk, bringing some slightly milder air in our direction. a mixture of patchy cloud and sunny spells once any early morning fog has cleared. we may see sea breezes developing around the coast of eastern and southern england. and those temperatures, by this stage, up to 16, possibly 17 degrees. as we look further ahead, friday is going to be another mild if not warm day.