Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos on Sunday said he is traveling to Greece to retrieve $10,000 that he believes a U.S. intelligence asset gave him in order to entrap him.
Papadopoulos made the revelation during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” during which he said that he gave the money to his lawyer to keep in a safe because he believed something was off about it.
He called for the US Department of Justice to look at the marked bills, now stored in a safe, and investigate the matter.
He spoke of suspicious circumstances surrounding the money. “A man named Charles Tawil gave me this money [in Israel] under very suspicious circumstances,” he stated.
“A simple Google search about this individual will reveal he was a CIA or State Department asset in South Africa during the ’90s and 2000s. I think around the time when Bob Mueller was the director of the FBI. So, I have my theory of what that was all about,” Papadopoulos explained.
“The money, I gave it to my attorney in Greece because I felt it was given to me under very suspicious circumstances. And upon coming back to the United States I had about seven or eight FBI agents rummaging through my luggage looking for money,” he related.
He said he believed that the alleged set-up was aimed at bringing a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) against him, as had been the case in prosecutions of former Trump aides including Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. Papadopoulos called for an investigation into the money trail.
He ended up paying a $9,500 fine and serving 12 days in a US federal prison for lying to investigators about his contacts with Russian-connected officials during the 2016 campaign. He now wants US Attorney General William Barr and Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to examine the paper trail.
Papadopoulos believes it will lead to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
“I still have the bills and I think they are marked,” he said. “These bills, that are still in Athens right now, must be examined by the investigators because I think they are marked.”
Explaining how he came to be in possession of the money, the former Trump aide recounted an alleged episode in 2017.
“I was reached out to once again by another person who wanted to do business with me,” Papadopoulos said. “And I was on vacation with my then-girlfriend, now wife, in Greece, and he comes to me he says why don’t you come to Israel with me and let’s talk about working together.
“I go to Israel with him, and he drops $10,000 in my lap in a room, in Tel Aviv. I don’t understand what is happening, I am very disturbed by the events. I fly to Athens the next day and give the money to my lawyers, and this person tells me he doesn’t want his money back, so immediately I thought there was something wrong,” he explained.