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ABC News conducted an interview with Simona Mangiante, who is the fiancee of former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos. Mangiante, who is Italian, met Papadopoulos through Joseph Mifsud the “professor” who appears frequently in the documents associated with Papadopoulos’s indictment for lying to the FBI. Mangiante describes Mifsud as having high-level connections with both the Italian and Russian governments.

She describes Papadopoulos as being “constantly in touch with people at high levels” of the Trump campaign.

Mangiante: He never took any initiative, so far as I know, unauthorized.

ABC: Was he in touch with the chief strategiest, Steve Bannon?

Mangiante: Yes. 

ABC: He was in touch with General Flynn? Michael Flynn?

Mangiante: Yes. 

ABC: You’re saying he had communications with officials at the top levels of the campaign. And everything he did was with the knowledge of those officials?

Mangiante: As far as I know, yes, absolutely.

And what Papadopoulos did was try to make connections between the highest levels of the Trump campaign, and the highest levels of the Russian government—for the benefit of both.

Papadopoulos was told that Russia had information useful to the Trump campaign months before that information became public.

For example, on April 26, Joseph Mifsud (“the Professor”) informs Papadopolous that the Russians have obtained “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” The statement doesn’t say directly that Papadopoulos is informed that these emails were stolen from the DNC and John Podesta, but it does note that Mifsud says that “the Russians have emails of Clinton.”

Mangiante says that not only did Papadopoulos have the “blessing” of the campaign in reaching out to Russia, but she believes he can document that support. According to her, most of the communication between Papadopoulos and campaign officials was through email. Some of that email, but by no means all, was released as part of Papadopoulos’s indictment. None of the currently released emails show Papadopoulos in direct communication with either Bannon or Flynn, though some of those mentioned in the indictments have yet to be identified.

Mangiante’s interview suggests that there could be other documents showing communication to Bannon, Flynn, and others.

ABC: You’ve seen the emails?

Mangiante: Yes.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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