Trump says he can't 'remember much' about his 2016 meeting with adviser who pleaded guilty in Russia probe

'It was a very unimportant meeting. It took place a long time ago', the President said 

Alexandra Wilts
Washington DC
Friday 03 November 2017 17:33 GMT
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP)

President Donald Trump has said he does not “remember much” about a March 2016 meeting with George Papadopoulos, a campaign aide who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russians.

“I don’t remember much about that meeting,” Mr Trump told reporters. “It was a very unimportant meeting. It took place a long time ago. Don’t remember much about it.”

The foreign policy aide attended a meeting of then-candidate Trump's national security team in March 2016 and is pictured a few seats away from Mr Trump.

Earlier this week, Mr Papadopoulos was thrust into the spotlight after it was revealed that he had been approached by people claiming ties to Russia and offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, according to court documents.

Mr Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about the conversations and has been cooperating with investigators, the documents said.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently probing whether Trump campaign advisers colluded with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. The revelations about Mr Papadopoulos provide the most explicit evidence to date connecting Mr Trump's campaign team to alleged intermediaries for Russia's government.

“All I can tell you is this – there was no collusion,” Mr Trump said on Friday, adding that “it’s a disgrace, frankly” that the investigation is still happening.

Since the story broke about Mr Papadopoulos, Mr Trump has attempted to distance himself from the aide, calling him a “low level volunteer” for the campaign and claiming “few people knew” him.

Mr Trump described him as an “excellent guy”in March last year.

The President has also tried to put the spotlight on the Democrats, who are embroiled in their own controversy regarding the 2016 election.

“You ought to look at Hillary Clinton and you ought to look at the new book that was just put out by Donna Brazile where she basically bought the DNC and she stole the election from Bernie,” Mr Trump told reporters. “That’s what you ought to look at.”

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