White House downplays George Papadopoulos' role in Trump campaign

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"The real collusion scandal, as we've said several times before, has everything to do with the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS and Russian Federation".

"He was a volunteer member of an advisory council that met one time", Sanders told reporters Monday afternoon during the White House press briefing.

Trump had been expecting the Manafort indictment, but was taken off guard by the news that Papadopoulos had been cooperating with Mueller.

Papadapoulos, the third aide who was a foreign policy adviser to the campaign has pleaded guilty to lying about contacts with Russian officials and has since been cooperating with the investigation in a plea deal which could mean wearing a wire to implicate.

He told the Federal Bureau of Investigation a London-based professor had "told him about the Russians possessing "dirt" on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of 'thousands of emails, ' but stated multiple times that he learned that information prior to joining the campaign", according to court documents.

"He asked to do things, he was basically pushed back or not responded to in any way", Sanders said of Papadopoulos' efforts within the campaign, which included sending out emails that offered to set up "a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S. -Russia ties under President Trump".

The professor, the statement indicates, had "substantial connections to Russian government officials" even though Papadopoulos claimed the professor was "a nothing".

CNN has fact-checked the Trump administration in the past on its chyron.

Sanders said during Monday's White House press briefing that Papadopoulos was simply a "volunteer" like "thousands" of others during the campaign.

A Trump campaign supervisor encouraged Papadopoulos to make the trip "if it is feasible" on August 15, 2016.

It's said that those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it; that's a truism that Donald Trump may realize sooner than later.

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