Former Trump adviser's guilty plea could rattle White House

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In April, the professor introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian national connected to the Russian ministry of foreign affairs, and they had conversations over Skype and email about setting up a meeting between Trump campaign and Russian government officials.

The Russian International Relations Council has confirmed contact with Papadopoulos, but said a meeting never took place.

Papadopoulos, 30, was arrested in July and accused of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his conversations with a foreign professor who informed him that the Russians had thousands of emails containing information that could be used against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBlumenthal: Trump-tied data firm reaching out to WikiLeaks "significant" Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report Intel Dem: What's in dossier more important than who paid for it MORE.

"We will have the opportunity to comment on George's involvement when called upon by the court at a later date", Breen said.

A former senior adviser on President Donald Trump's campaign team, Sam Clovis, sought to distance himself on Tuesday from George Papadopoulos, an ex-campaign aide who has pleaded guilty in the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Trump's tweets also erred in their characterization of the timing of events listed in the indictment of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Manafort's chief aide, Rick Gates.

He also argued that United States sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea "have done little more than to turn Russia towards China as a primary market for Russian goods, services and energy".

There are clear indications prosecutors used Papadopoulos to gather more information about the campaign as they probe possible criminal activity.

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A personal lawyer for President Donald Trump says the president is not planning to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russian Federation probe.

In court papers, prosecutors have said prematurely making the case public would hurt his ability to be a "proactive cooperator", which legal experts say could include surreptitious techniques like wearing a microphone to record conversations.

So I was totally separate from the campaign.

Trump's response to Papadopoulos' offer could be of interest to special counsel's office.

The White House had braced over the weekend for an indictment of Manafort and for allegations of financial misconduct that it could dismiss as unrelated to the campaign or administration.

"I would infer from that that he was working proactively on behalf of the prosecutors, which would mean going out and obtaining evidence", said former Justice Department prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg.

When he tweeted "For the nth time, I am NOT Trump's foreign policy adviser!".

Clovis, in a statement, told Bloomberg that Papadopoulos was acting on his own and that the campaign had a strict rule against traveling overseas and claiming to speak on behalf of the campaign. Papadopolous said he should appear on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos because their names sounded similar. Papadopoulos angered some on the foreign policy team in early May by urging former British Prime Minister David Cameron to apologize after calling Trump "divisive, stupid and wrong". Sessions, however, did attend, and he and Papadopoulos sat next to each other, according to the source who was in the room.

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