Alexander Downer, the Australian Diplomat who famously invited Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos to a London Bar on May 10, 2016, gave an interview this week to Sky News Australia’s Andrew Bolt. If you can bear the condescending manner in which they speak of President Trump’s conspiracy theory, please watch the video below.
Following this meeting, Downer prepared a memo about their conversation and two months later, sent it to the FBI via the Australian government. The FBI confirmed they received the memo in July and they are sticking to their story that it was Downer’s meeting with Papadopoulos that triggered their counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.
Downer categorically denies that his invitation to Papadopoulos was part of a setup. He also emphasized that Papadopoulos did not say Russia had damaging emails about Hillary Clinton, only that they had damaging information.
According to Downer, over drinks Papadopoulos told him that “Russia might have information on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that they could release before the 2016 election.” Downer told Bolt:
I have no idea why he was blabbering this, but if you say that sort of thing to somebody who is part of the Five Eyes intelligence community, I mean I would regard myself as a warrior for the Western alliance. But if it is drawn to my attention that the Russians might be hacking into the campaigns of major candidates in western elections and then using that information to try to influence the outcome of those elections, that would really worry me.
Russia is not a friendly pal when it comes to western interests, and if they’re hacking into our elections, then that’s something we should try to stop. I don’t know why he told me this, but he did and we reported it and the rest is history, but there is no defense for him saying it is some sort of weird conspiracy, I mean, it’s what he told me.
(Note: Five Eyes refers to an intelligence-sharing agreement between the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.)
There was no suggestion from Papadopoulos nor in the record of the meeting that we sent back to Canberra, there was no suggestion that there was collusion between Donald Trump or Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians.
All we did is report what Papadopoulos said, and that was that he thought that the Russians may release information, might release information, that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign at some stage before the election.
Now, he didn’t have to tell me that.
I didn’t go to the meeting thinking he was even going to mention Russia in the context of the election campaign. I had no idea what he would say.
Downer doesn’t appear to have given much away in his interview.
What is interesting is that Downer, who has maintained a very low profile throughout, would sit for an interview now. Last week, the New York Times “reported that an investigator working for the U.S. intelligence community posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016, and tried to probe Papadopoulos on the campaign’s possible ties to Russia.” Several weeks ago, Attorney General William Barr testified that “spying did occur” and signaled that he was investigating the reasons for it. The DOJ Inspector General is also investigating.
Rush Limbaugh notes that, “Many people now are trying to rewrite their own versions of history in which they were involved.”
Papadopoulos’ story differs from Downer’s.
Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos and Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud met for the first time in March 2016 at the Link Campus in Rome where Mifsud taught. (Link University is said to have “close ties to Western intelligence agencies.”) They met again in London on March 24, 2016, where Mifsud introduced him to a Russian woman he claimed was Vladimir Putin’s niece.”
It was during their April 26, 2016 meeting in London that Mifsud told Papadopoulos he had just returned from Russia and that the Russians had thousands of emails which would be very damaging to Hillary Clinton.
According to the Daily Caller:
Papadopoulos has also said he has no recollection of sharing the information from Mifsud with Downer. Papadopoulos met with Downer and another Australian diplomat, Erika Thompson, at the Kensington Wine Room in London on May 10, 2016.
Papadopoulos, who lived in London at the time, had met Thompson several weeks earlier. He’s said that Thompson contacted him to set up the meeting with Downer.
Papadopoulos has speculated that Mifsud and Downer were working with Western intelligence agencies when they met with him. Though the special counsel portrayed Mifsud as having Russian ties, the mystery professor also had close links to Western diplomats and intelligence agencies.
Rush Limbaugh discussed this story on his radio show on Friday. He notes that Downer states that his memo was sent to the FBI in July 2016 just as the FBI has said it was received. The FBI insists that it was the meeting at the London bar described in the memo which led them to open their investigation into Trump.
Downer said in his interview “there was no suggestion from Papadopoulos nor in the record of the meeting that we sent back to Canberra, there was no suggestion that there was collusion between Donald Trump or Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians.” Would the FBI seriously open a counterintelligence investigation based on what was contained in the memo?
The FBI is hiding something and it’s likely that Downer is as well.
The real question for the FBI comes to us from Rush: If we are to believe that their meeting was the catalyst for the probe, why did the FBI hire Christopher Steele in February 2016 as records have recently revealed? And why after the FBI fired Steele for speaking to the media, was he snapped up by Fusion GPS, which allowed the FBI to continue receiving his information through Bruce Ohr and then possibly by Robert Mueller as was rumored this week?