But the former foreign affairs minister recently made headlines after a New York Times report revealed ex-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos boasted to Downer about the Russians having dirt on Hillary Clinton during a drunken night out in London in May 2016.
An Australian diplomat's tip appears to have helped persuade the FBI to investigate Russian meddling in the USA election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported Saturday. Two months later, when the stolen emails appeared on the Internet, the Australian officials passed the information provided by Papadopoulos to the United States colleagues, which served as a driver of the investigation' launch by the FBI into Moscow's alleged interference in the United States presidential election.
According to the Times' account, Papadopoulos appears to have been doing a bit more than fetching coffee.
There is NO WAY Papadopoulos didn't tell the Trump campaign that the Russians were in possession of Hillary's emails.More news: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers — AFC Divisional Sunday
Former FBI chief Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to head the U.S. Justice Department probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether there were any links to the Trump campaign.
Mr Downer and the Trump administration have also gone to ground.
The Age reported that Downer had conveyed the conversation to Australian officials via official cable, but apparently not immediately.
Former British spy Christopher Steele met with the FBI in July 2016 to share some of his findings from an investigation he was conducting of Trump on behalf of Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that was working for the Clinton campaign and DNC. Papadopoulos was Trump's former foreign policy adviser; in October, he admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his communication with Russian nationals and pleaded guilty for the fact.More news: Baltimore Hospital 'Takes Responsibility' For Woman Left Outside In Cold
Famously, Mr Trump had a testy phone call with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull previous year in which he blew up about a refugee deal between the two countries. This meeting was mere weeks before the drinking session with Mr Downer.
So, to summarise, Mr Papadopoulos actively sought to foster a relationship between the Trump campaign and people he knew to be representatives of the Russian government, with the aim of obtaining incriminating information about Ms Clinton.
"And we all need to let Mr. Mueller do his job".
Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn. He is now likely cooperating with investigators. "But given that he's on Mueller's team, they will continue to do so".More news: Obama Foundation files plans for presidential library in Chicago
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