Trump advisor recalls Papadopoulos offer

A campaign advisor to Donald Trump says that the US president turned down the offer of a brokered meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin.

President Donald Trump said on Friday he did not remember much about a meeting last year with a former campaign aide who pleaded guilty last month as part of a federal probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Asked about a meeting in which aide George Papadopoulos suggested arranging a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump told reporters: ‘I don’t remember much about that meeting. It was a very unimportant meeting.’

According to court documents filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Papadopoulos said at the meeting of foreign policy advisers in March 2016 ‘that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.’

A photograph posted on Trump’s Instagram account shows Papadopoulos sitting at the same table with Trump as well as Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s attorney general, and several others.

Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about contacts with people who claimed to have ties to top Russian officials, in the first criminal charges alleging links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

His plea was made public this week.