Ex-Trump staffer claimed campaign approved meeting with Russian officials: report

Former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos claimed in an email to a Russian contact that top campaign officials had approved a meeting between campaign officials and representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

Papadopoulos sent an email to the Russian contact a week before the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016, saying a meeting between campaign staffers and Russian officials “has been approved by our side," according to Bloomberg.

He reportedly suggested in the email that the meeting take place in August or September in the United Kingdom and that “my national chairman and maybe one other foreign policy adviser” attend, along with members of Putin's office and Russia's foreign ministry. 

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The email was not included in the court documents revealing that Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contact with Russian officials, but was in an FBI affidavit about criminal charges against the former staffer, according to Bloomberg.

A supervisor in the Trump campaign had told Papadopoulos to make a trip to Russia "if it is feasible" to take a meeting with Russian officials, according to court documents. Though the meeting in question never actually took place.

The Washington Post late Monday identified the campaign official who encouraged him to set up the meeting as Sam Clovis, Trump's nominee for the Department of Agriculture's science adviser.

Clovis’s lawyer Victoria Toensing told the Post that Clovis “always vigorously opposed any Russian trip for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg on Mueller report: 'Politically, I'm not sure it will change much' Sarah Sanders addresses false statements detailed in Mueller report: 'A slip of the tongue' Trump to visit Japan in May to meet with Abe, new emperor MORE and/or the campaign” and described Clovis’s statements to Papadopoulos as him “being polite.”

Updated at 8:04 p.m.