A lengthy expose about former Trump national security team member George Papadopoulos in the Washington Post, details how he 30-year old Greek-American used his perceived position to have the doors of power in Greece swing right open, from defense minister Panos Kammenos to President Pavlopoulos, the foreign minister, and prominent businessmen.
While Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Trump-Russia affair, was looking to Kammenos for example, to tap his supposed ties to Russia and peddle them to the Trump campaign, the Greek elite saw him as a bridge to a prospective Trump administration, buying lock, stock and barrel Papadopoulos’ exaggeration of his secondary role near Trump.
Peddling bogus access to Putin
The article focuses on the Vladimir Putin angle, as Papadopoulos told Trump he was developing back channel’s to the Kremlin, and he cited the supposed good ties with Moscow that Kammenos had been touting, also in a completely exaggerated if not entirely fictitious manner.
Kammenos is described as ‘’a pro-Russian Greek nationalist who bragged often of his insider Moscow connections’’.
The article notes Papadopoulos had been unknown in Greece — and everywhere else — only two months before.
‘’But suddenly, just as Putin arrived, he was in Athens, quietly holding meetings across town and confiding in hushed tones that he was there on a sensitive mission on behalf of his boss, Donald Trump,’’ the story says. ‘’ But when he bragged that he had helped Trump win the presidency, many here believed it.’’
‘’Kammenos, in particular, stood out both for his pro-Russian views and his determination to forge a bond with the young Trump adviser,’’ the story notes.
At a meeting with the Washington Post’s editorial board in March 2016, Trump named him as one of five foreign policy advisers. His resume was reportedly padded with exaggeration and falsehood, such as a bogus stint at the model United Nations, a mock UN for high school student representatives.
“He was basically serving as the note taker,” Eliamep Greek think tank director Thanos Dokos told the newspaper about a meeting with a researcher at the Hudson Institute at which Papadopoulos was present.
‘’Less than two years later, after a short stint with the Ben Carson campaign, Papadopoulos was in Washington to meet Trump and join the team of the man who would become America’s 45th president. As it happened, Kammenos was in Washington the same day, for a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to the WP.
Kammenos had largely been shunned by the Obama White House, partly because of his Moscow links, the paper notes.
‘’He also pushed for an end to sanctions imposed on Russia, championed a plan for Russia and Greece to jointly manufacture Kalashnikov rifles and befriended a number of influential Moscow players, including the wealthy Greek Russian businessman and politician Ivan Savvidis,’’ the paper wrote of Kammenos, quoting a prominent opposition MP.
ND nails Kammenos as Putin supporter
“He’s been one of the strongest Putin supporters in Greece,” said Adonis Georgiadis, vice president of Greece’s center-right New Democracy party.
‘’Papadopoulos was totally unknown. But then Kammenos took him by the hand and promoted him everywhere,” Georgiadis said.
‘’In short order, Papadopoulos had soon had meetings not only with the defense minister, but also with Greece’s foreign minister, its president and a former prime minister — a remarkable level of access for such a young aide,’’ according to the expose.
‘’The glare grew many times brighter after Trump’s surprise victory. Within hours, Kammenos tweeted his congratulations to the president-elect — along with a picture of Papadopoulos and a note saying the young Greek American was “now important for Greece.” The WP reported.
‘’When prominent Greeks and Greek Americans gathered at Washington’s Metropolitan Club for a party the night before Trump’s inauguration, Kammenos and Papadopoulos were both there to celebrate.’’