George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign aide and author of the book "Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump," spoke with FNC's Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" about how he believes the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies tried to entrap him, using honey-pots, front companies, and wiretaps to catch him in a perjury trap.
Papadopoulos explains in detail the timeline of what happened:
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS: I want you to take us back to how this all began, because when you were and were talking about what you went through, it was actually stunning to me in terms of the level of people that reached out to you.
First, before we go through this timeline that is really stunning -- and I want our viewers to focus on this -- I want to ask you, have you ever been to Russia?
GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: I have never been to Russia, no.
BARTIROMO: Do you have any colleagues, associates that work in Russia or for the Russian government?
PAPADOPOULOS: Absolutely not. In fact, I was working at a neoconservative think tank for five years leading up to joining both the Carson and Trump campaigns. And I was in the energy business.
PAPADOPOULOS: So, as an American, doing those two things, you're not working with the Russians at all. You're not promoting their interests.
BARTIROMO: All right, so let's take it back to the end of 2015. And you were working with the Ben Carson campaign. You have got this timeline here.
You are working for Ben Carson. You wanted Ben Carson to win. But you decide you want to give Corey Lewandowski a call, who is running the Trump campaign. You say you're interested in joining?
PAPADOPOULOS: That's right. Actually, I had reached out to Corey Lewandowski even before Carson, I think around June or July of 2015. I just thought that Donald Trump was going to end up being the president. I thought he was going to end up choosing Marco Rubio as his V.P., but no.
BARTIROMO: And he told you they weren't hiring yet, that he would get back to you?
PAPADOPOULOS: That's right. That's right. And we stayed in touch. I ended up joining the Ben Carson campaign after that.
BARTIROMO: So you're working for Ben Carson. You're in touch with the Trump campaign. Then Ben Carson drops out in January '16. So you are left without work. You don't have a job. And somebody reaches out to you on LinkedIn. Tell me about that.
PAPADOPOULOS: So I was contacted by this company called the London Center for International Law Practice. I was living in London at the time. I was in the energy business in Europe. And they contacted me out of the blue: We'd like for you to come work for us as a director over here.
And I didn't think too much of it. And I went over there. And this company ended up being some sort of spark that ended up probably changing my life and the last two years of this country because they are the ones that introduced me to this mysterious professor in Rome, Joseph Mifsud.
BARTIROMO: Right. OK. Don't get ahead of ourselves.
So you're working for this center. We learned later that this center actually has worked with the FBI in the past, right?
So all of the officials that I was working with at this company were either connected to Western governments, Western intelligence organizations, or some of the top partners of the top law firms in the world were affiliated with this company. There were absolutely no Russians whatsoever at this company.
BARTIROMO: And they reached out to you on LinkedIn. That raises some red flags right there, because I'm wondering why a company working with intel agencies regularly, including the FBI, in the past, reached out to you on LinkedIn. Why you? Why did they reach out to you, working with Ben Carson? I'm just wondering if, in fact, more people were spied on, like Ben Carson's campaign. But we will get to that in a minute. They reach out to you. You start working. Do you accept a job?
PAPADOPOULOS: I do accept the job. I get there. And within 48 hours, I'm the director already, which didn't make sense to me. It seemed like it was a fabricated type of position there just to get me in the room and to meet various people and for them to introduce me to various officials around Europe and even the United States. So it seemed like it was some sort of front company and front job.
BARTIROMO: So, fast-forward to March, when you decide you are in fact going to join the Trump campaign. You go back to your colleagues at this center, and you say, I'm leaving, I'm quitting, I want to go work for Trump.
And then what happens?
PAPADOPOULOS: I tell them I'm leaving. And they're all furious. Essentially, they're telling me, are you crazy? You have such high-level connections here in Europe and then in D.C. Why would you go and work there? You just finished working on Carson's campaign. He dropped out. Trump is obviously not going to win.
BARTIROMO: OK, but you decide you're going to do it. You're going to do it. And they say what?
PAPADOPOULOS: And they're just furious. And they say, well, if you end up leaving us, before you go, we need you to go to Rome with us, because we have people there who are going to help you on the campaign. And at the time, I didn't think anything of it. And I went to Rome with them to this university.
BARTIROMO: OK. So you go to this university in Rome, and you meet some interesting individuals. Let's talk about that. One of those individuals is this gentleman named Mifsud. Tell me about the people that you met in Rome when you're still working for the London Center of International Law Practice, which, of course, reached out to you on LinkedIn to get you this job. And they convince you, before you go to work for Trump, you have got to go to Rome.
PAPADOPOULOS: Absolutely. And as soon as I get there, I'm basically greeted by the former Italian foreign minister, Vincenzo Scotti, very high-level Italian officials who are affiliated with this university. I suspect there were likely FBI, CIA people there too because the CIA and FBI trains at this university.
BARTIROMO: And you meet Mifsud. You meet Mifsud. And you start having meetings with him. Tell me about Mifsud. Who is Mifsud?
PAPADOPOULOS: Yes. So, I'm introduced to Mifsud by the former Italian Foreign Minister Scotti and this company I work for.
And Mifsud basically is the overseas professor that Bob Mueller falsely characterized to the world as some sort of Russian cutout who was trying to conspire with me or collude with me and provide information that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Now...
BARTIROMO: But he drops a bomb on you. He drops a bomb on you in one of the meetings?
PAPADOPOULOS: Yes. So after I meet him in mid-March -- so, before my name is even public in The Washington Post, these people are introducing me to Joseph Mifsud. So, clearly, there were some sort of eyes on me even before my name was public.
So he meets with me. We have some bizarre conversations moving forward about a potential meeting between Trump and Putin. He could never introduce me to anyone of substance in the Russian government or anyone of substance in general.
And in late April, he lets me know that, hey, George, did you know that the Russians have Hillary Clinton's e-mails? And that's where I was very suspicious of this person. And, actually, facts and events preceding that moment and after were very bizarre.
BARTIROMO: Mm-hmm. So he tells you, Russia has e-mails of Hillary Clinton's. And this is the bomb that you feel was the whole reason that they wanted you to go to Rome to meet him because they wanted him to tell you about these emails that Russia had of Hillary Clinton. Is that right?
PAPADOPOULOS: That's absolutely correct. I think this person was some sort of plant. He's been outed recently living openly next to the U.S. Embassy in Rome. He's being protected, actually, by Italian intelligence right now. And he's gone missing for two years.
BARTIROMO: So, they didn't want you to -- they wanted you to go back and tell Trump about Russia having Hillary Clinton e-mails. Did you do that?
PAPADOPOULOS: Absolutely not. That wasn't my job. You hear a lot of gossip and strange things when you're in these circles. And the last thing I was going to do was go and talk to the campaign about something that I thought was illegal.
BARTIROMO: Now, what happens next is really interesting to me, because over the course of the next four weeks, first, you get the bomb thrown in your lap from Mifsud, that he tells you, Russia has Hillary Clinton's emails.
You don't do anything with that information, but you think he's hoping you will. But in the next week -- in the next month, you get outreach from lots of different intel people. Is that right? You are contacted by U.S. intel officials, British intel officials, Australian intel officials. What was that all about?
PAPADOPOULOS: Oh, yes, that's a great point.
So, actually, April 15, the Australian government reached out to me for the first time. April 26, Joseph Mifsud tells me this information. May 2, I have the British government reaching out to me from this man Tobias Ellwood, who was the number two at the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he wants to have a conversation with me and get to know me a little bit.
May 4, I'm contacted by two officials of the DIA at the U.S. Embassy in London named Gregory Baker and Terrence Dudley. And then I meet on May 10 this Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, who I testified under oath at Congress and told the FBI and Bob Mueller that I felt he was spying on me and recording my conversations.
BARTIROMO: So this is all what you believe is spying, recording of conversations, early 2016, way before there was any FISA warrant to actually get a warrant to spy on anybody. And then it was Downer, the Australian intel guy, who, really, they got you with, because Alexander Downer had a conversation with you, and you were asked by the FBI, when did you first meet Downer? You tell them what?
PAPADOPOULOS: Oh, so, the FBI interview was -- I brought up Joseph Mifsud, and I brought up this whole idea of who told me this information about emails. And then I got caught in a perjury trap. And, actually, that was my charge. I got charged with, I guess, lying about when I met this person. So this is what this whole case was really about. It was a complete setup and a perjury trap.
But the information that I have now -- and after I testified to Congress, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of recordings and transcripts between myself and a lot of these assets. And I'm very hopeful that these are going to get public very soon and the president is going to start declassifying this material.
BARTIROMO: So you told the FBI you believed you met him in March, when, in fact, you met him in April. And that was the perjury. So you went to jail for, what, how many nights?
PAPADOPOULOS: I went to jail for 11 nights because of this, after I had honey pots, money thrown my way, wiretaps, surveillance by foreign countries. And then I finally get caught in some perjury trap and I go to jail for 11 nights. It was ridiculous.
BARTIROMO: And you feel that this was entrapment?
PAPADOPOULOS: Absolutely. I feel that it was entrapment. And I'm very happy to see Congressman Devin Nunes, in the letter that he sent to Secretary Pompeo and Gina Haspel to get more information on this person Mifsud, because if it's indeed proven that this person was really entrapping me, not even spying on me, and then there was a coordinated effort between these other various intelligence agencies including the DIA and Australians, to extract this fake information, and then spy on me with another honey pot in London with Halper this thing reeks of spying, entrapment and illegal and illicit behavior.
BARTIROMO: It's pretty extraordinary to me that it was so global, that all of these intel people are reaching out to you, and beginning with LinkedIn reaching out to you, to go work for this London Center for International Law Practice.
Real quick, why do you want the president to declassify these documents? What are we going to learn, very quickly?
PAPADOPOULOS: Yes, what we're going to learn is the involvement of the U.K. and Australia in interfering in the 2016 election.
We're also going to get to the bottom of who Joseph Mifsud really was, who he was working for. And we're going to understand who was running all of these spies at me and likely other people on the campaign, including Michael Flynn, who actually also encountered Stefan Halper in 2015. And I encountered him in 2016. So it's very important for the president to declassify this material, so we get to the bottom of this.