tv George Papadopoulos Speaks at American Priority Conference CSPAN December 14, 2018 7:59pm-9:10pm EST
welcoming around their kitchen tables. and what connected us was our story. >> and then on sunday at 9 pm eastern on afterwards, citizens united president david bossi and former trump campaign manager corey lewandowski discussed their book, trump enemies, have a deep state is undermining the presidency. their interview by investigative journalist cheryl atkinson. >> i don't want to be a conspiracy therapist but i knew these people as fans of president trump the day after he got elected. they didn't support him during his campaign and they likely didn't vote for him on election day but they found an opportunity to join the administration which was young and inexperienced to further their own agenda. >> with part of becoming president he listened a lot to republican leaders in washington and took advice from folks that i don't know that he would do that same thing today.
i think during that transition and in the first month or two of his administration the learning curve was incredibly steep, just like it is for every single president of the united states. there is no classes, there's no degree on the president, and it's a learning curve. what book tv this weekend on c-span 2. up next, former trump foreign policy advisor george papadopoulos sits down for an interview at the american priority conference. right after serving a brief prison term connected to the rush investigation. this is about an hour 10 minutes.
>> all right everyone, welcome, everyone to the priority 2018 conference. our honored guests are here, this is your first interview afterwards outside of the date. and you made it through and everything [ laughter ] and you made it through with your wife. so we are going to do this a little bit differently. you know i know a lot of people in the back in the mainstream media probably have question so if they have anything you want to ask you can write it on a piece of paper you can hand it to tom because jan ss george and i spoke there's nothing off- limits, right? whatever you want to talk about he said, i am mike cernovich, i first heard about george bob -- george's story on twitter. if i don't read on twitter i don't know about it.
the cell phones are off? and we are here to have an open and freewheeling conversation about what happened and how you got here. so before we get into the really deep stuff, how does it feel now that your back? >> well, it's an honor to have the american priority conference host me. i feel at home here i feel i have family here. and i have just been welcomed with open arms and for me, that means the world to me. because while i wasn't in prison for that long, it's still not a place anyone wants to spend even one minute, let alone 12 or 14 days or whatever i was in there. you are away from family and friends. you are away from the world and your living in an underworld. and i never thought of my life that this would happen to me, i didn't think it happened to people [ laughter ] working on presidential campaigns or transition teams, like i was. i was just really doing my best to help the country. and now they are looking to harm the country. so i met interesting people, i
had a good experience and i'll get into that later. >> let's talk about that because i saw in your twitter you tweeted out a picture of him going in and i thought it was interesting because there were so many layers because that is sort of the new way of communicating with the outside world. this is what it's like, so how did you feel when you took that picture? what was going to your heart? >> first of all, thank you for inviting me. to me, i felt defeated. i spent all day long with george until i walked in in this prison camp in wisconsin, and my story is the story of loyalty and support, and i gave him a voice when he didn't have a voice. and i tried to share the
dramatic moment in which i saw him walking there with head held high. i found something heroic about him working there because i have been very vocal about my understanding of the situation, he is the victim of a set up. this campaign of the president has been damaging to george. and a but he is a witness in the case. because i know of his work in europe. because i made it clear both to the fbi and the congress that is area was intelligence. so i was in a specific position. i married joe -- george in the middle of the investigation. i had to stand by my man and that's basically the scene in
which dramatically i felt defeated because i felt so much for this not to happen. >> you said two things i don't want to push any boundaries, or inappropriate but did you say it felt ? did i hear that correctly? >> [ laughter ] no i said dramatic. [ laughter ] >> i wanted to clear that up. >> >> these are very dangerous times. sorry, just for the record up here. some women like the tough guy image. hey man, i don't judge anybody. >> i was attracted by the adventure [ laughter ] so it was something like this. >> okay do i ask her about that? >> you are reading my mind. [ laughter ] >> in the moment, you felt defeated. >> defeated, yes. because i knew that he didn't
is -- deserve to end up in this place. i knew this was a complete fabrication because i know george. and i know if it's someone this was a fantasy they ended up saying that i wasn't russian agent. so i said this is my husband so i am the spy who loved him. [ laughter ] >> there's a lot going on to the point where i go to the russian turkish bathhouse in new york and i took a sophie i said i was colluding with the russians. >> if you like russian food, if you started and russia house here. >> i like when they beat you up, but there really is a rear kind of a weird xenophobia kind of way . we all heard that xenophobia is bad, but now we are supposed to be afraid of russians . but that is quite bizarre. but what interests me about
this whole drama is idle but most people, you read it in the headline, it's the two agents they came over and interviewed you and everything was cozy. but what is that really like? did you get there loud knock at the door? >> no, i got a phone call as i was out of the shower and shaving. the same day that they came to my house i actually was going to be talking, joining the administration for certain contacts i had. so it would it was a very awkward moment. i get a random call at 9 in the morning i'm shaving, i am half naked in my shower [ laughter ] and oh, there is the fbi, we are outside your house. and i said the fbi, outside my house? what did i do? okay, that's no issue. they come in my house and they just basically telling me
likely tell everyone, you are the head of national security you are a very important person that we need to talk with and you are a patriot for coming to help us. and i do love my country, i have a different view of the federal government now than i did probably a year and a half ago [ laughter ] when i was a little bit younger and more naove. but i went in, i put my suit on because i wanted it to be a professional type of encounter with federal agents. and basically i get there and the excuse that the used to talk to me was a friend of mine in new york, who in my mind, the person was not a friend, but it was a person who had reached out to me, sir g that s surrogate million, i guess he is part of the steel dossier, and he was trying to set me up in various ways as well. and i can get into that later. anyway i get there and then
within 5-6 moments of showing the picture they said sir jake that s does surrogate, we are not here to talk about him. and two weeks before i remember him telling one of his associates he was working for the fbi. so the thing that went through my mind it was just spinning. so we just go off onto various topics about my ties with israel which was about 80 percent of the conversation. if i was being cultivated by is really government officials, why i knew people in israel and in the middle east. it's actually best what my professional background was. i had nothing to do with russia. and so that is why it was so bizarre that i was put into this character as -- at the epicenter of a conspiracy when i've never traveled to russia or never knowingly met a russian official in my life and i don't speak russian. but i have dealt in the middle east a lot and your.
so it was very confusing and they bring up did you ever hear anything about emails? and i said from russian government source. and i basically told them no but the multis man, told me x, y, nz. and at that moment i thought i was telling the fbi that this strange man who had this information might have been working on behalf of russia and you should certainly look into him. just like any patriotic mirror -- american should do. and later on, we find out from this man's own lawyer, my wife and girlfriend who knows him explains that he was never working for rusher, he was working for western intelligence and probably the cia, fbi and others. so my entire case, essentially is built on this professor who the government has tried to project and portray falsely, as
a russian agent. but the whole time he was interacting with me for about a month or so in london, he was actually working on behalf of western intelligence. so given that foundation, and corrupt foundation around my case, it led to numerous other incredibly bizarre, strange meetings, encounters that i had with other western intelligence sources, because in my humble opinion, they were really after what i was doing in the middle east. and possibly, i was viewed as a threat to certain goals and objectives of various governments, and that's why they wanted to really take me out. >> how long was the interview with the fbi? >> it was about an hour and half. b it was the only interview you had with him? >> no i had subsequent interviews and i will never forget my subsequent interview with them, they brought in the attorneys from the fbi to speak
with me as well. and i told them this person told me about emails but it seemed that they were interested in them. even during my first interview, my second interview, i was telling them this man told me that the russians have emails and they didn't care. it seemed they were more interested in who did i tell on the campaign about emails, not actually more about the source. so it was very bizarre and, you know, i guess [ laughter ] that's how my entire case started off the wrong foot. >> how many interviews did you have with the fbi? >> i had three initially and then after my arrest at dulles, i think i had four or five. >> okay so you had three interviews just with the fbi, where they recorded? >> i believe so, yes. >> in the first interview was with the two agents and that is when they bring in the lawyers. was it intimidation?
because the way they warm you up is all very friendly, come on we are going to have a chat. and there is no fear in it, so that's why, you always hear people they talk to the government and they say well it's not like they came with a battering ram. was it like that with the other two interviews cute? -- other interviews? >> i'm glad to finally have a chance to explain this. i viewed the fbi as hostile about my ties to israel. probably no one in this room ever knew, but basically why do i know that diplomat, why was i traveling there? >> were there specific people they ask you about? >> for instance certain ministers i don't want to disclose their names because i dealt with them under confidential terms. when i was looking at them i
sent what is wrong with what i'm doing? because i used to work in the energy industry and my background was in that. and i have these connections in the middle east in general and i was advising big business in israel and helping both american interests and israeli interest by making them energy independent and obviously helping add to our coffers back home. so that was viewed, i guess that was not viewed favorably by certain elements of the obama administration. and later on i would find that certain elements of the state department were keeping tabs on what i was up to and it was basically a long microscope i had on me for years, up until that meeting. >> so you have been under surveillance before you work on the campaign? >> that's my current understanding, yes. >> what i was reading on the charging documents, i thought
there are these two sort of conflicting errors. one is he was mr. nobody and didn't know anything, and then i read all the documents and they say well, one month into the campaign they were soliciting you. and i said well you have to pick an error access and area. you will say either he was nobody or he's someone you want to work with. >> that is a great segue into the strange meetings. >> will you what is the meeting? >> let's go through this chronologically. i am in london, hopelessly. at the time and that such an appointed campaign advisor. and i had been in touch with cory lewandowski . >> how did you get in touch with him? back i just sent him an email. dealing with energy policy and us relations with israel and egypt. and i said, you know, i am
tired of the establishment types. my mentor is there, you know douglas five, scooter libby, great guys, they really helped my political trajectory. but i just felt that this wasn't what represented america. at that moment. especially after eight years of obama. you know i was 28 years old at the time and i said i want to join a campaign and i want to leave hudson. and i'm thinking about joining trump [ laughter ]. and they said you are crazy. >> like everybody did. >> now, it's a whole different game. but that was the general theme that no scholar or think tank or anybody in the mainstream outfit would be on the trump campaign or even a ben carson
campaign and i joined both [ laughter ]. and they said you know you should join ted cruz or somebody like that, we have connections and i just wasn't interested. so i sent a message to cory, and at the time there was about three people and he said let's keep in touch you have an interesting background area and we kept in touch and i joined the ben carson campaign and i left and i went back to the london and reach out again for the last time i said am i going to join or not? we had been talking for eight months. and then i finally joined and that's when things became very strange. immediately. >> defined strange. >> so, i was working for a contractor that simona was working for in london as well. we now have independent journalists and others have looked into this place. they understand that it is some
sort of front for western diplomats, ex-pats who go in there and masquerade as scholars for some other reason. and i had no ideas. >> next question, what were you doing there? >> how did you get there [ laughter ]? >> i was introduced by some political head of a socialist group in the european parliament. and they said it's perfect for you to come and join our center. and that's what i was doing after two months. >> so they found you? i always like to hear the concrete details like they found you, where were you when you took the job? >> i was at a conference for the european parliament and he was fishing for talent. >> like political experience?
>> so, so would fit into their and that was the main center. and so he said your contract is about to expire, i said i love london, so let's go to london. and then after that all the shady things started to happen.. niksa would take me to meetings and they would ask me about my expertise. and they were inviting me to another person to a symposium in tripoli, which of course that doesn't sound safe when you sit with them. you can't know what is going on but you can go and fight for human rights. okay, and you never would see the same person in the same room for two days. >> so you're traveling, you're flying discreetly, keeping a low profile?
>> well i went to rome and i went to brussels, but i didn't want to go to tripoli, i was scared of that. they wouldn't tell me what it was about and they wanted to send me to the middle east at the time. so my experience is with someone who has ties with the italian government at a very high level. and i never owned -- never understood why they wanted me to work in the middle east. i thought they were shady. i didn't know george, but he told me will you know the guy that's more or less your same background is now working on the trump campaign. and you should meet him. and he talked about george so much and when he reached out to me i said oh, who is that guy? >> and that's important, because this is the organization that introduced me.
and there were single, papadopoulos, how does he fit? so my meeting with joseph mips a was the guy that told me about the emails that got me into trouble. >> and for those who don't understand >> we will set the table for this. everybody who has been indicted or processed time in his case he lied to the fbi, his claim, he said they told him when they talked about the emails the conversation had happened a month earlier and he was already on the campaign and hit talked about the email and then was approached about the emails. and the issue was that he lighted it fbi about that and the head of their investigation. and the same thing, it was called this -- obstruction of justice. and that's what they got there was no rush and colluding but when you read the actual
documents it's all where are you in 2015? do you remember if it was june or july? i don't really know [ laughter ] , will you were actually here. they know better than you before they asked the question, so that's why the timeline is very important for that reason. >> basically, yeah. so i let this company know i'm leaving i'm going back to washington. i'm out of london because i was tired of london i wanted to get back to the us, i was getting bored there. and i wanted to get back into politics there. and they said before you go, you have to come with us to rome. and i said why would you want me to come to rome with you for business? and i'm leaving to go back to the us. i had never traveled to rome, i thought it was a minivacation on my way to see the vatican, you know there's that famous fountain, what is it called? we will get some good food and
the director of the company i was working for in london, which as i said now has been discovered to be something completely different than i thought it was, went to me and said you need to meet this woman. she is in london shall explain a couple of things to you. i meet her, didn't stand out all, mid-50s, just seemed like an academic. later i find that she was the lead counsel for the fbi lead case. also from what i have read, i could be wrong, and also a personal connection to robert mueller after 9/11. this was march 2016. i met her in london where she was working for my company and she said you should go to rome. why she came into my life to say that, i will explain what happened. i then go to rome to this
university, i thought it was a beautiful 17th century, cathedral style university that probably no one has heard of, i certainly never heard of it. except when i walked in there, the wreck of the university was the italian minister, there was a symposium being held there with opposition leadership from libya at the time which was a divided country. and just, you would see all these higher-ups in the policy and intelligence world. and i thought okay this is just a random university. now, after i have done my due diligence and i looked into this place and probably others, we see that in 2004 the cia held a symposium there, and up reporter from the washington post wrote a brilliant article about it. so basically, it's ace school for western intelligence, but i
didn't know that at the time because you're not supposed to know that thing because it's a trap, basically. [ laughter ] so, my contact at the company in london said hey, there's someone that you need to meet, joseph mipsa and he disappeared. and joseph mipsa supposedly knew everything about me before got in there. and he said so you're the papadopoulos guide joining the trump campaign? i didn't know who he was. i knew the vietnamese prime minister i know this guy i know the state department, he presented himself as a man of the world who could connect me to every country you could imagine, including russia. and it was not a secret that trump wanted some connection with russia at that time. so i said, let me take them
with a grain of salt and actually see what he can provide. in terms of connecting the campaign to various people both western and in russia. just like my job was telling me to do. and he told me after meeting me in rome that he was profiling me. what is your religion? are you sympathetic to this party, to that country? and it was more of a profile instead of a hey, you're interesting and maybe we can work something out where i can help you or you can help me. when you're 28 and you are not in the circles, you don't know what's happening until you look back. right? >> and you feel important, too. >> well, you think they are important. but that's the point of intelligence, it's all fake. sometimes you shouldn't believe everyone you meet. so, i said to myself, okay
let's hear what he can offer. i go back to my company in london and as i'm transitioning back to washington and i speak to the director at the company in london and he said you know, mipsa is going to introduce you to the niece of vladimir putin. and i said what? i'm meeting the needs of vladimir putin from a guy who's never been to russian never met a russian official and now the niece of the president of russia wants to meet with me? i am on cloud nine. so basically, that company was in on this mipsa and there was some sort of thing going on. i meet with mipsa and his fake niece. he doesn't even have brothers and let alone that niece. so i don't know why he said niece. i should've done just a simple google search. and this girl, whoever she was, there were rumors that she was simply a wine store manager [
laughter ] >> where did you meet her at? >> other people that my friends , they were western intelligence, too. so i don't know, the whole thing is declassified, we never will know who pollutants niece was. >> where did you meet at? >> we met at a beautiful hotel and, you know she barely spoke english and this is very important for everyone. why things became very suspicious moving forward. she barely speaks english, smiling, you know not contributing anything to the conversation about mipsa. moving forward, she became aware of that person was i was talking to or writing to be a email, she wrote in fluent english, became a so-called middle woman to the kremlin and the world. and basically deflected mipsa
away and she became some sort of person i was supposed to deal with. and i said okay i'm dealing with the academic and now i'm dealing with putin's family. so it gave me faster access, but that never happened. and this is why it became very strange, because she and mipsa began to write me that the russians know about you. they want to meet you, the russian ambassador in london can't wait to meet you and i have set up the meeting. and at that time i did want to meet with russian officials, just to understand what the relationship was. it was probably naove on my part. >> everything now is being reprogrammed in terms of what it was at the time. nobody cared about russia. during the debates, obama critical -- ridiculed romney and out all of us and everything is nefarious and that's just the thing you're building your network, your young man on the rise. >> and that's exactly what it
was. and then they never actually introduced me to any russian officials, they just kept writing that we are going to do this. and that's why i started to feel suspicious. and i remember i message whoever that person was i said did i meet you in london? are you the same person? no response. so i stopped talking to whoever that was and i just started reaching out to joseph mipsa and i think he began to realize that whoever was running him began to notice that. and he sent me a last email as far as i can remember how it went down. and said i'm returning from russia let's have one last meeting. and that is when he dropped this bomb on me out of the loop, unsolicited i had no idea what he wanted to talk to me about. it's like i'm sitting here telling you i have a kilo of drugs on me right now and no one is expecting it. [ laughter ] but that's help awkward and random this info
was that he just dropped on me. and recent revelations and the discovery has come out that i can't yet disclose how i know or that there are transcripts of my meeting with this person. now, if he was a russian agent, why would the us government have transcripts of his person dropping this fake information on my lap, and basically seeing what i was going to do with it? so after that meeting, that is when things get even more strange. >> i want to stop there for moment. you had a pre-existing relationship with mipsa before you were working on the campaign? >> no. >> oh you met him after that? >> i met mipsa in rome for the first time ever , i guess two days after i joined the campaign. my name hadn't gone public like
everybody, i think on march 21 i think i met him in rome around march 12 or 13. >> and did he know you were working on the campaign? >> yes, i told my leaving, so it's nice to meet you i don't think we're going to talk again. so, after mipsa drops this information on me that's when london becomes a very strange city. that is when the us intelligence officials reach out to me from the embassy and start to question me. >> what does that look like, though? because you lived it and what we are trying to do is tell the story. so reaching out to cope does that mean they're calling you? how did that go about? >> the mipsa meeting with april 26 2016. i think two or three days later the times of london calls the company i was working for an it's london's most powerful
newspaper. and they wanted interview. i said that's fine. i talked to the campaign and they said you should do it. i said okay. i began to talk with him and that is when that sensationalized headline came out about at the time the uk prime minister is this disparaging candidate trump, calling him and idiot for his proposal of a muslim band. whether the uk like it or not there was a lot of support for him in this country. that is why president trump or candidate trump and then he changed and modified things. but you know is a candidate you just throw ideas out. nevertheless, it is not another government business, especially an ally to publicly disparage a candidate for any idea. and basically be times of london asked me if i thought he should apologize to candidate trump and i said something
along the lines of yes, he should. and the same night that that happened, i got a call that 11:59 pm and so did you read the headline in the times? pierce morgan, why are you calling me? >> i need you in my show like 7 tomorrow. >> i looked at the title and it's a trump campaign advisor demands apology from the uk president. [ laughter ] it was something that was just completely, the welcome to the jungle moment. half the campaign hated me, hath loved me. and so i said, okay, good, i got a message i think from hope hicks about it. and i thought that meant trump liked it. because hope hicks was working
for trump at the time 24 hours a day. so i was fairly confident, but after that interview that is when i was being followed in london. i began to notice people watching me that looked like they could've been english intelligence, they could've been cia, trying to figure out what i'm doing. and then two days after that that's when people that i think were cia reached out to me. they were intelligence officials. >> cia, intelligence officials? >> you never really know. they said you used to talk a lot with us defense attachis, people in the middle east in -- and athens. i was quite comfortable. but this conversation started off on the wrong foot. they began to, one guy sort of talking greek to me, to kind of
show that i know your background as a person who was dealing in athens. and the other guy was like i know of your business here in the energy business activities, because i finished my thesis on some pop that sites ghost -- some pipeline. so they were approaching me about my personal activities, who i was hanging out in london and who i was dating, very strange questions. and they wanted to ingratiate themselves within the campaign which i found incredibly bizarre. >> what do you mean by ingratiate themselves? >> they wined and dined me as if i was marilyn monroe or some model. >> she would have deserved it. >> i just said, hey, you want to spend $700 on wine and food,
fine. [ laughter ] and they are just pouring drinks and i said that's quite a lot of money to be spending for two government workers. but they are not poor, but they are not millionaires and i've never spent $700 on a meal myself and i've never seen it. and then i say, okay, i am going to distance myself from these two guys. and they said please, we want to join the campaign, essentially. and i said what you mean join the campaign? you're already government officials at the embassy in london and you are sending me messages you want to ingratiate yourself in the campaign and meet people. and advise them and share knowledge. and i was just a little cautious. >> what were their names? >> turns dudley, i think he still at the embassy in
london right now and gregory baker. >> he left me a message two days ago. gregory baker [ laughter ] this is crazy, like he wanted to have an update about my job situation. [ laughter ] >> because they are still following us. >> i didn't even know that. [ laughter ] well so, by that point i was tired of being wined and dined by these two guys. and i didn't think that they were really interested in the campaign. and they told me then, yeah, but you know what you need to meet our people in athens. our people, by that i assumed cia guys. and i said why are they
introducing me as a campaign advisor to their associates at the embassy in athens? you know and then i think there was an email where the accidentally copied me on where they said this is a subject of interest or something like that. and i said i hope that's not about me. [ laughter ] it couldn't be about me, could it? but it was, probably. so you have those guys, they're following you, april 6 i get this bomb dropped on me about emails, two days later the times of london's comes with me ãis with this headline, then us intelligence coming into my life and two days after they left that's when the australian guy reaches out to me. and this is no random australian diplomat, just so everybody understands. >> we know that. now we know, and it's my
opinion that the investigation did not start on july 31. >> at least the beginning of march, 2016, possibly before. i had met alexander downer's assistant in london in april 2016 around the time when joseph mipsa and strange characters entered my life and she was very hostile. she said the australian government is not pleased with candidate trump we are watching you very closely, he is a pariah. and i said to myself, why am i meeting an australian diplomat? why are they reaching out to me? and i had nothing to do with australia i don't think trump ever mentioned the word of australia once during the campaign. and then later we find out there are intelligence guys, but one thing at a time.
[ laughter ] so she reaches out to me out of the blue in april 2016 asking me questions about trump, russia everything and just being quite hostile. then joseph tran26 that says mipsa drops information on me. then, joseph mipsa drops in, then the times of london then the us intelligence and then after that, the same australian diplomat who had met with before that said hey, my boss wants to meet you now. by the way, that's how you get caught up. because your earlier timelines did not match. because you forget one detail work it one day wrong. >> i was interviewed for three hours by the fbi. [ laughter ] >> yeah she has been interviewed. >> there is a lot of the
personal element that we never shared but that we have gone through. since that first initial interview. and that is what i want to hear. >> i think that, you know, we can talk about these issues but this is the stuff that no one knows about. and i think simona can talk about that more than i can . >> the second trip i did to chicago when we were dating, i come off the flight from london to his home and two hours later at an fbi agent knocking on his door. i was shocked. i was shocked. that was the day in washington. he was in washington and i was with the fbi agent, and he's telling me you have no option.
either you go to washington and be interviewed by the grand jury or you can come to the fbi headquarters in chicago and we have a friendly conversation and they said after we review, we will let you go. >> talk about trying to ruin my romance. [ laughter ] b that was the second time i was in chicago. i was dating. that was really something like [ laughter ] they were telling me don't ever come back to the united states. basically. so, i said okay i go and this lawyer says to me, but you can go to chicago with the agent. so i go to chicago at 1st i go to the embassies which was not at all good. you just go there but my boyfriend, he's in the
boyfriend, [ laughter ] so, you know i go there and their agents there and they said to me they had the most incredible questions. they asked about our personal lives, they wanted to know if i found him through mipsa. i remember it was like something about why are you so cold? [ laughter ] but that was really and they asked me about mipsa , but not that much, more about my connections with the soviet union, in our meeting, why are you coming here, you are in trouble. so, i shared all the information i had and the next day basted me an email saying
we are happy with the interview, thank you very much. we will just drop off your subpoena. but, after a while, like 10 days later, i was boarding my flight from chicago to rome and while i was boarding, the same two agents that interviewed me stopped me and told me hi, and i was boarding my flight and so i was terrified did something happen? i'm not playing the country. >> they said no no no. >> and they told me we want you to use this number to get in touch with us. and anybody that approaches you in europe. and they told me are you planning to come back to the united states? and i said yes, coming back because i'm engaged. and they said oh you're getting engaged in the situation? and they also me during the
interview do you love george? >> we have a very unconventional relationship. >> i said if they find out i don't love him, i go to jail. [ laughter ] i am laughing about it, but i was terrified. and i remember they told me i storm is about to come, be careful. i said what storm is about to come? >> be fbi agents told you that? >> yes, when they told me when i was boarding, he is in trouble, don't come back. and one week later they unsealed the report. before i was going to chicago i thought something was wrong but nobody knew that you would be arrested that he would plead guilty. so he was the first one. and it was real intimidating. basically the fbi was telling
me i know what you're doing, i know what you had time on the flight we had an eye on you. and then they asked me do you want to marry george papadopoulos? and i said he hasn't proposed yet. >> and that is the irony of how people like you get caught up. because you don't know enough to be afraid of the fbi. i am terrified by the fbi. if i witnessed a crime and they said they just want me to tell them what i saw and i would have to say talk to my lawyer. >> like come here, just want to talk and then it is as you said, you end up in jail. >> yes. that's the mistake people make. we need to be very conscientious and cautious before ever talking to them. because i read your stuff over
and over again and i remember when it hits you are the resistance like we finally got trump russia and a lot of the media they play on people's ignorance like if you are a lawyer they processing crimes. if they wouldn't have gotten you on obstruction of justice, if you had anything about russia they would have flipped you and work their way up the food chain. so where, after you pled guilty you said you talk to robert mueller's office four times? you have the three interviews with the fbi in the fbi's lawyers and then you had four interviews with him? what were those like, run us to those. >> it still an ongoing investigation so i can't get into too many details yet but it seems to be winding down so i'll probably be able to talk about it shortly. but in general terms it was just contacts abroad, logan act violations, this infamous logan act from 18th-century. so what did i do? whose policy am i under?
am i talking to an egyptian diplomat or japanese guy. my experiences i guess i feel comfortable thing now is i felt i was more under scrutiny for just helping trump win. then actually anything nefarious i did against my country, if that makes sense. and, i hope maybe i was reading things wrong, but i don't like i was. because, if even 10 percent of the narrative was right about me and my connections to russia, i mean just now, two weeks ago a crazy person sent a letter saying i was dealing with russian business and all this insanity. and i'm okay i'm going to prison when this happened and i find out who it is and it just a crazy person who wrote a letter just to continue to
fabricate this russian narrative. >> it really blows my mind. and we had a reporter, i had like a devil's bargain and i think it's time to write the redemption piece on you. i don't need your approval. he said you have to tell me everything about all the russian stuff. they believe it i know they do because i've had in my house i've had the new yorker, the la times, politico and then they watch you work on those people never talk about the russians not much anymore. and that kind of the dangerous part of it, there is zealous and they really do believe that russia is controlling everything and it's making them
lose their minds. >> you know what i found fascinating? the day before i testified behind closed doors for seven hours on capitol hill joseph mattson's lawyer went public and said he was working for the fbi. i'm not saying it, his lawyer is saying it. after that, there were report that he wants to testify to the senate and if he testifies to the senate, that would take a lot of gumption to go in front of the senate and talk about his efforts to support democracy and hack emails and hope putin and trump. >> this space is something i am really intrigued about, to see what joseph mifsud said, if he does testify under oath, to our congress and what he has to
say. >> because all that we know at this point, is that there are transcripts and his lawyer is saying when he was interacting with papadopoulos he was under the guidance of western intelligence . >> if that is the case, which i don't understand why his lawyers will by -- what lie, there is no way they would go public and lie about me. who would create a fantasy around their client that doesn't exist for no reason whatsoever? >> because then they could get sued and it's not a good look for any lawyers to do. i am very interested in seeing what happens. my understanding is there is an agreement according to joseph mifsud's lawyer that he has, with the special counsel, he will speak freely once the investigation is over. that is something i am very intrigued to see what comes about it. >> it's been a while. what is the one question you
have never been asked that you always wanted to be asked? [ laughter ] >> how did i get so lucky to have her marry me? >> how did you get so lucky to have her marry you? >> sometimes the politics gets boring and redundant. i'm in the middle of it and i'm bored of it sometimes. >> it's the best adventure. people think we are crazy, but it is. it is intense. >> the investigation is still going, but two years ago i predicted what would happen and what did happen. i said you will catch a bunch of people and process crimes because people don't know that if you miss remember the date -- that's not the headline. george papadopoulos misremembered the date by a month. when you read the legal documents, you're like wait
this is what they have on him? >> and then the general public is ignorant about sentencing and they go he only got two weeks, so he must have given them a bunch of information. like no, that is within guidelines of six months. if you are a lawyer you look at what happened and you're like this is whatever. people lie to the fbi every day and get 0 to 6 months, that's egregious. >> then it gets spun into something crazy. do you get a lot of death threats? >> you know, there is a funny story. i started off as a darling of the left when i couldn't defend myself. i had narratives created for me. so then every day -- look, i'm not saying -- >> remember that, you are their patron saint. >> i was without ever uttering a word myself are ever going public about my story. i never understood that. so that for me was for -- so
frustrating to see that happen. my goodness, my entire life is crumbling before me to fit something that it's impossible to fit. >> back to the original point, i have never met a russian official in my life. so how my involvement in this? [ laughter ] that is where spite comes in. as we were discussing earlier. what is your take on this? >> there was a petition about him cooperating and being a patriot, i never said that. what i want on fox news the first time, when he could not talk yet, i said we need to set the record straight. this guy has been set up. i had twitter threatening me. >> let's talk about that.
let's take us to that moment. >> remember we were living in chicago, we were listening to people talking about george as the one who was talking to mueller about the trump connections to russia. and i was like i don't have any connection to russia. they were trying to expose him for information he didn't have. they asked me, how did george communicate with? basically they wanted to use him to find -- and he never did it. >> that is why mueller was not happy with his cooperation . i remember, we were spending time and fox news invited me to talk because he could not. i was his voice. and i said no, this is not correct. >> it has been distracted in a
way to present in reality what it's not. once i spoke out on the entrapment on the spy gate, then i had all of america threatening me. journalists, the same ones who are writing news articles about me were slandering me, trying to discredit me. >> they were reckless lies like i am not a lawyer. i am, it's not difficult to check this information, literally. or many other things like that. so i had these attacks that were very violent and they were all related to undermine my credibility. >> because they wanted me to prepare the field to what's happening now today. because now we can talk and of course --
>> and there were death threats from twitter? >> s, i had some. they said they would kill me. >> this is the depth of insanity we have reached. my wife is italian, from italy born and raised, she just happens to be blind and blue- eyed. >> i'm russian. >> but because of that they call her russian to fit another narrative. they say there is a russian spy married to me. >> i read that and i thought she was russian. >> many people think i'm russian. >> before i looked into it i thought she was russian. i was like oh, that's interesting, i hadn't realized it. because what i noticed is, that when people in the media don't like getting death threats, they never get supported. has a journalist ever asked you about death threats? >> never. >> they won't. >> it's actually scary.
i think every day my account has been hacked at least three times and i deleted -- had to make a new account. i couldn't take it any longer. i will be back maybe sometime, but i will miss it for the moment. >> that's one thing you do notice, as there are all of these articles about if anybody on the left gets a main tweet it's a big story. but then the left may step route some people, you will never read that in the media. >> i have tough skin, i really do. even for me, it's hard. but thank goodness we have patriots like people in this room and loving americans who, not only -- this is something i must say , kept this approach financially. they are helping us with cofund me and that was until we were able to work on other issues and projects. morally,
spiritually. >> i will never forget this moment, the day i was going to prison, it was a hectic day. we got in a fight because of stress. you can understand, it's chaotic and any little thing happens and it's overblown, i was very upset and stressed. she was crying and i was yelling. >> i would like, so this is how i'm going to prison. with my wife crying and a fight . i said, oh my goodness this can't be happening this way. however, as we were driving to the prison, a pastor from houston, texas had no idea -- i had no idea who he was, he knew who i was. he sent a message on twitter. >> brother george and sister
simona , can i pray for you? i said yes, of course. we weren't even sitting together in the car. there was so much tension. the moment that gentlemen got on the phone and started praying for us, it naturally brought us together. >> and in that moment, i tear up just thinking of it because i teared up in the car. god was in that car with us and it was basically a eulogy that the light comes after the darkest period. i see it now. i wasn't even supposed to be at this conference, but by some miracle, i was able to get out of today's in my prison
sentence and i'm here speaking to everyone here. >> that prayer brought us together. i kissed my wife and held my head high and i went into prison, into the unknown, with courage and strength. that just moments before i had none of. that, for me was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life and my marriage with my wife. >> on that note, one last question. you first and then you. what would you do differently if you could live your life differently? >> i'm sorry, what? >> if you could live your life over again, what would you change? if anything. >> i don't have much i regret. i never regret what i get into. i make mistakes, as anybody. but i think going back to that
difficult year i would do it again and again. in the end it forced me to meet the love of my life. >> either way i am the luckiest man in the world as i'm going to prison. who could say that? i can and that's because of comments like that. is that the same question? i don't regret, i'm like her. i love politics, it gets me going. it's like an animal instinct, i just love it. >> maybe that's why i had all of this activity around me. [ laughter ] but if i wouldn't go into politics i was a huge baseball fan. i loved playing in high school and i wanted to play for the chicago cubs. [ laughter ] >> but i don't regret my choice in politics and i hope that this experience doesn't stop me from progressing and politics because i'm not the oldest guy
in the world. and 31 and i have had some interesting experiences and i hope to continue into it. >> i like hearing about your first day in prison, i was reading it like a novel. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> i think it's over, alex told me i had to wrap it up. is that it? we're done? thank you so much.
saturday a discussion of the role of special counsel. kent starr formed of the special counsel investigating the whitewater and lewinsky investigations during the clinton administration. the event is hosted by the freedom form institute underway live at 2 pm eastern on cspan. >> 50 years ago apollo 8 begin the first manned spacecraft to successfully orbit the moon. this weekend american history tv marks the milestone with special features, starting sunday at 9 am eastern, we are live from chicago's museum of science and industry, home of the apollo 8 capsule with author robert kristin taking your phone calls. at 10 on oral histories, the 1999 interview with apollo commander frank
gorman and at 4:30 pm eastern, and oral histories interview with apollo it command module pilot tim module. what's the anniversary this weekend on american history tv on c-span three -- cspan3. sunday night and q and a. >> this american [null] party had 20,000 supporters who came to rally at madison square garden. the footage shows storm troopers giving the [null] salute with a swastika next to a picture of george washington. that rally was for george washington's birthday. >> there was a very active american fascist movements in the 20s and 30s earlier than people think. it was associated with the phrase america first. >> university of london literature professor sarah churchwell looks at the history of the terms america first and the american dream in her book, behold america. that's sunday night at eight eastern on cspan's