Hasn’t been seen since last week.
On October 30, I blogged how President Donald Trump’s former foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI about contact with Russians.
Well, the man who supposedly possessed “thousands of emails” on failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has disappeared.
CNN reported Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud vanished last Thursday “from the private university in Rome where he teaches.” From CNN:
An associate also told CNN that he repeatedly bragged about how Moscow had “compromising material” on the Clinton campaign in spring 2016, contradicting Mifsud’s assertion that he never talked about Russian “dirt” on the Democratic presidential bid.
At that time, according to US officials and independent analysts, Russian agencies or proxies were rummaging around the stolen emails of both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The intrusion would not become public for several months.
The associate, who spoke to CNN at length, also said that Mifsud told him that he had been interviewed by the FBI while on a visit to the US earlier this year. That chimes with Mifsud’s own account — in an interview last week with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, he refers to a discussion with the FBI.
Mifsud was in Washington in February — he spoke at an event organized by Global Ties, which describes itself on its website as a non-profit partner organization of the US State Department.
However, he told Italian publication La Prepubblica last week that claims “he knew about Russia’s material on Clinton” was just “baloney.” He stated that he excludes “the fact that I spoke of secrets regarding Hillary Clinton.”
That’s the last time he has spoken.
The indictment on Papadopulos contradicts the professor’s claims. The Wall Street Journal reported:
In fact, Mr. Papadopoulos met with the professor in March 2016 after learning he was joining the campaign, court documents say. The professor only took an interest in Mr. Papadopoulos because of his status on the campaign, according to the documents. In April 2016, the professor told Mr. Papadopoulos about “thousands of emails” related to Mrs. Clinton.
After that March meeting, Mr. Papadopoulos emailed Trump campaign officials to say he had just met with his “good friend” the professor, who had introduced him to an individual described in the email as the niece of Russian President Vladimir Putin, court documents say. Mr. Papadopoulos said the topic of the meeting was “to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump,” according to the documents.
A campaign official said he would “work it through the campaign,” but that no commitments should be made at that point, the documents say. The campaign official added, “Great work.”
Mifsud admitted that she was not Putin’s niece. From CNN:
He told La Repubblica: “She is a simple student, very beautiful. Like many other students, I introduced her at the London Center where Papadopoulos was, and he showed an interested in her that was not academic.”
Mifsud has enjoyed a lot of deep connections with top Russian officials, but one of his associates warned him of being played by the Russians. Now Russian media has gone after Mifsud:
For the most popular talk-show on Russian television, Mifsud’s activities are now the object of ridicule. On Sunday, the show’s host, Dmitry Kiselev, said that Papadopoulos was introduced to the fictional Putin niece by “a fly-by Maltese professor called Joseph Mifsud, a retired bottom-feeder diplomat.”
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