“THIS WAS A SETUP”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 23, 2019) — In a new podcast at “Himalaya” named “Punching Back,” former 2016 Trump campaign adviser and current congressional candidate George Papadopoulos speaks about the mysterious Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, whose whereabouts are presently unknown and a recent topic of wide speculation.
The title of the newest podcast, released Friday, is “Where in the World is Little Joey Mifsud?” who is depicted in a photo resembling the central figure of a parody card game.
The show now has its own Twitter hashtag, “PunchingBackPod,” which Papadopoulos, now 32, often promotes to his followers.
Papadopoulos has often invoked Mifsud’s name on Twitter and in the podcast described him as having gone “underground.” He added that the “lie” perpetrated about him following his meeting with Mifsud in Rome on April 26, 2016 “turned this country on its head,” referring to the opening of the FBI’s counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign, “Crossfire Hurricane.”
In 2015 and 2016, Papadopoulos was living in London, working in the energy sector with an emphasis on Cyprus and Israel, according to his book, “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.”
Papadopoulos described how various figures in London discouraged him from joining the Trump campaign and reported that a woman “connected to Bob Mueller” arranged for him to meet Mifsud. “To this day I do not understand why she has not gained more attention,” Papadopoulos said of the woman.
“Bob Mueller” is former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, who conducted a $35 million, 22-month investigation which sprang from the FBI’s “Crossfire.”
Papadopoulos first met Mifsud on March 11, 2016, he said on the podcast, ten days prior to the date on which he was officially revealed to be a member of Trump’s foreign-policy advisory team by The Washington Post. “So all of this is happening even before the world knows that I have joined the campaign,” Papadopoulos remarked.
He added that Downer’s assistant, Erika Thompson, and an Israeli diplomat, Christian Cantor, met with him six days before his April 26 meeting with Mifsud, on April 20, telling him that “Donald Trump is a pariah.”
During the April 26 encounter, Papadopoulos said, Mifsud told him that unnamed Russian operatives possessed incriminatory information on Hillary Clinton, thought to be a number of her approximately 33,000 missing emails from the private server she used when she was secretary of state under Barack Hussein Obama. Mifsud also promised to “broker meetings” between the campaign and “foreign governments,” Papadopoulos said.
The conversation with Mifsud is said to have led to a conversation in early May with then-Australian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Downer at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London at Downer’s office’s request. While speaking with Downer, Papadopoulos wrote in his book, Downer reportedly indicated he was recording the exchange and became “hostile,” claims Papadopoulos repeated in the podcast.
Downer is believed to be the agent of a “friendly foreign government” (FFG) referenced in the December 9 DOJ Inspector General report (p. 6) who informed the FBI that Papadopoulos claimed the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. That information reportedly prompted the FBI to open Crossfire, an unprecedented counterintelligence investigation into a U.S. presidential campaign, based on the alleged suspicion that campaign aides might have been “colluding” with the Russian government to impact the 2016 election.
The basis of Crossfire was proven false when Mueller’s team, who were arguably biased against Trump, found no evidence that anyone from the Trump campaign, nor any American, conspired with Russians to affect the election.
In Mueller’s report, Mifsud is said to have been dishonest with investigators, but he was inexplicably not prosecuted. In contrast, Papadopoulos was prosecuted and accepted a plea deal for allegedly lying to the FBI about the timing of his contacts with Mifsud.
In a recent appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Papadopoulos said he is exploring his “legal options” given the revelations in the Inspector General’s report that serious errors and omissions occurred in the FBI’s FISA warrant applications for surveillance on Carter Page, another former Trump campaign adviser. The report also confirmed that “confidential human sources” were deployed by the FBI to Papadopoulos and Page resulting in “recorded” conversations (p. 7).
During the podcast, Papadopoulos recounted that Clinton’s private server was reported vulnerable to intrusions by Russia, China, and friendly governments by Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano on May 5, 2016.
Of Crossfire, Papadopoulos declared, “This was a setup. When the President calls it a witch hunt, I don’t think it goes far enough.”
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Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.