The Federal Bureau of Investigations set up a sting operation against former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, attempting to frame the then 29-year-old with $10,000, warns attorney Victoria Toensing.
Papadopoulos was vacationing in Greece with his then-fiance, Simona Mangiante, during the summer of 2016, Toensing explained in an interview with former White House aide and talk radio show host Sebastian Gorka, when he was approached by someone who was supposedly impressed with his credentials.
Toensing, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice, claimed the individual who she believes was an FBI agent told Papadopoulos he wanted to do business with him and allegedly persuaded the political operative into traveling to Israel to make a deal.
“After he was put on the Trump campaign as a foreign policy advisor, unpaid, very informally – met the president one time in a meeting with a bunch of people – he was vacationing with his then-fiancée in Greece and this guy starts knocking at his door basically to say, ‘Hey I really want to deal with you, you’re really important and so will you just come to Israel and talk to me about making a deal.’
Papadopoulos questioned why the individual needed him to travel to Israel and the man persisted “I need you in Israel,” Toensing explained.
When in Israel, the spy invited Papadopoulos into his hotel room and presented him with a suitcase filled with $10,000 in cash. Following his fiancé’s advice, Papadopoulos gave the money to his attorney and returned to the United States.
“Papadopoulos’ wife is very smart and says don’t [take the cash], leave it here. They left it in Greece with his lawyer,” Toensing said.
When he arrived at Dulles airport in Virginia, he was immediately searched by the FBI and apprehended.
“He flew back to Dulles and the second he landed, the FBI surrounded him and started searching everything that he had,” she continued. “In fact, they already had his baggage from the plane. He couldn’t believe they got his baggage.”
One of the FBI agents warned Papadopolous during his arrest, “This is what happens when you work for Donald Trump,” Toensing claimed.
In an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, Papadopoulos called on investigators to examine the $10,000 cash payments he received from the man he alleges was a spy.
“I actually want Congress, Barr, Horowitz, Huber to review the bills because I still have the bills and I think they are marked,” he said. “Something insidious was going on here. I think these bills that are still in Athens right now must be examined by the investigators, because I think they are marked and they’re going to go all the way back to DOJ, under the previous FBI under Comey, and even the Mueller team.
“If the Mueller team is going around entrapping campaign associates and Trump associates, the way they did to me, I am sure it wasn’t just me they did it to, and it is going to open up a massive can of worms and I think we need to get to the bottom of exactly, not only how did this story start, but why were they entrapping us moving forward.”
Fox News Ratings Crater, Trailing CNN and MSNBC for First Time in 21 Years
A brutal collapse over the past two-and-a-half months.
Recent data from Nielsen shows that Fox News finished behind both CNN and MSNBC in ratings to open the month of January.
This is the first time in twenty-one years that that has happened, according to Daily Wire.
Nielsen’s ratings data shows that CNN finished number one among cable news networks with approximately 2.8 million viewers per day from January 4 through January 10, including 4.2 million in primetime.
MSNBC came in second with 2.3 million viewers per day and 3.8 million in primetime. And in third was Fox News with 1.7 million viewers per day and 3.2 million in primetime.
This is tough data for the conservative-leaning network. Over the past couple decades Fox has become accustomed to completely dominating the ratings, oftentimes receiving more viewership than CNN and MSNBC combined. Several factors contribute to the fall of Fox, including but not limited to:
- The death of Roger Ailes in 2017 and subsequent changes in network leadership
- Their disastrous Election Night coverage on November 3
- Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden
- An ostensible effort to distance themselves from Trump
- A real or perceived softening of their conservatism in general
- Trump’s public irritation with the network, to the point of telling people to migrate over to Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN)
Fox News has recently announced lineup changes as well. This is standard practice in the cable news industry and may not have much to do with their suffering ratings, though there’s a likely possibility that it does. Fox will be adding an hour-long opinion show in place of Martha MacCallum’s news show “The Story,” which had fallen behind both CNN and MSNBC’s 7pm timeslots after a stretch of being “comfortably ahead in ratings.” The network will also shuffle some of their daytime lineup.
As Joe Biden works through his first 100 days as president, it will be interesting to see how Fox News continues to perform, not only in comparison with CNN and MSNBC, but also with OANN and Newsmax.
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