Seth Abramson, an assistant professor of English at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester and journalist who has become a commentator on the Trump-Russia affair, maintained in a tweet that Greek-American George Papadopoulos had a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Athens on May 27.
Last month Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents about contacts he had with the Russian government in 2016, relating to the Trump-Russia case.
In an interview with the Athens Daily Ta Nea, Abramson traces Papadopoulos’ acquaintance with Trump and alleges that Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos had contacts with Papadopoulos, is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has friendly ties with Russian oligarchs. Though Abramson offers no evidence to bolster some of the above assertions, he declared that Trump-Russia investigator Robert Mueller should summon Kammenos to testify.
Abramson says Trump met Papadopoulos through a common acquaintance named Sergei Millian. Following a dinner with Papadopoulos, Trump placed Papadopoulos on his national security team, giving him access to top campaign figures such as Jeff Sessions and Paul Manafort. “Soon, his role changed, and he began to speak on Trump’s behalf regarding Russia,” Abramson says.
Abramson asserts that Trump relied on Papadopoulos as a Russia liaison, as his son-in-law Jared Kushner in December, 2016, was unsuccessful in his attempt to create a secure channel to Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. “Yes, in May 2016, Trump needed Papadopoulos. Remember that Papadopoulos revealed that he had access to the Kremlin two months earlier in March, 2016.
Kammenos a Putin ally?
Abramson cites only circumstantial evidence in alleging that Defense Minister Panos Kammenos is a Putin “ally”.
“Panos Kammenos’ Institute of Geopolitical Studies has a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which was involved in intervention in the US electoral process in 2016. Kammenos maintains friendly ties with Russian oligarchs, opposes sanctions on Russia, and personally welcomed Putin when he visited Athens in May, 2016. He steadfastly supports pro-Russia positions. All that shows that he is a Putin ally,” says Abramson.
Asked if Trump Russia investigator Robert Mueller should summon Kammenos to testify, Abramson says, “Yes, absolutely. Especially Panos Kammenos, but also all others who met Papadopoulos during his two trips to Greece in May and December 2016.