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News ID: 17376
Publish Date: 23:53 - 31 December 2017
TEHRAN, December 31 - An FBI investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election began after George Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign, revealed to an Australian diplomat that Moscow had political dirt on Hillary Clinton, a report says.

Trump's drunk aide kicked off Russia investigation: ReportTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Papadopoulos shared the damaging information with Alexander Downer, the Australian high commissioner to the UK, “during a night of heavy drinking” at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London in May 2016, says a report published by The New York Times on Saturday.

Downer was told that officials in Moscow had thousands of emails that could jeopardize Clinton’s candidacy, who was Trump’s Democratic rival.

Australia, part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, passed that information on to the FBI two months later.

In addition, Papadopoulos had repeatedly tried to arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to The Times report.

In October, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russians during the campaign and now he is a cooperating witness.

Since July, he has been cooperating with US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed in May to oversee the federal inquiry into possible collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russia.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia tried to help Trump win the election by hacking and releasing emails damaging to Clinton.

Mueller has impaneled a grand jury, meaning he is allowed to subpoena officials and get sworn testimony which may lead to criminal indictments.

While many top Republicans have attempted to discredit the US Justice Department's special counsel leading the investigation, President Trump believes Mueller “will be fair” to him in the probe.

“There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair,” Trump told The Times in a wide ranging interview on Thursday at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"I think that Bob Mueller will be fair, and everybody knows that there was no collusion," he added.

Source: Presstv 

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