A former Pentagon spokesman and Trump campaign national security advisor told Big League Politics Monday that George Papadopoulos, a member of a foreign policy advisory board who plead guilty to misleading FBI agents and described to the Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III his own efforts to meet with Russian government officials was freelancing.
“I was surprised to learn today what George Papadopoulos was up to during the campaign,” said J.D. Gordon, who was also a national security advisor for the 2016 presidential campaign of former Arkansas governor Michael D. Huckabee and the 2008 campaign of businessman Herman Cain.
Papadopoulos was an example of someone on a campaign going rogue, he said.
“Presidential campaigns are like that,” he said.
“He obviously went to great lengths to go around me and Senator Sessions,” the retired Navy commander said. Attorney General Jeff B. Sessions, then a senator from Alabama led the campaign’s foreign policy shop and its team of advisors.
“Very hard to know what every single person is doing, especially since some folks deliberately go around the chain of command or circumvent it,” he said. “Papadopoulos obviously represents an extreme case.”
The former Trump campaign advisor is also connected to a conspiracy theory centered on his role at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Gordon said that he was lead representative of the Trump campaign dealing with the foreign policy planks in the 2016 Republican platform and he knows first-hand that Campaign Chairman Paul J. Manafort Jr., did not direct him or anyone else to weaken support for Ukraine.
The previous Republican platform was written in 2012, long before the Russian seizure of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2104.
Gordon said he hopes the narrative about the Trump campaign weakening the platform’s support of Ukraine can finally be put to rest.
“Anyone who keeps insisting that the GOP platform was changed to benefit Russia needs to be investigated by the special counsel to determine the extent of ties they may have to Ukraine–that’s on the record and I will have to leave it there.”