George Papadopoulos, President Trump’s former foreign policy aide, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the timing of meetings in which he participated.

ABC News reports that Papadopoulos claims he fudged the dates because he did not want to contradict the president’s public statements regarding these meetings.

George Papadopoulos, the Trump foreign policy aide who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, initially misled agents out of what he claimed was loyalty to President Donald Trump, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Trump had publicly denied that there had been any contact between his campaign and Russian officials, and Papadopoulos did not want to contradict the official line, the source said.

“It’s all fake news,” Trump said of any alleged connections in January. “It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen.”

Papadopoulos met with the FBI agents investigating those alleged ties shortly thereafter, and he later acknowledged that he lied during that meeting about the timing of certain contacts.

According to federal court filings, Papadopoulos initially claimed his contacts with a professor who had deep ties in Russia “occurred before” he became an adviser to the campaign.

“In truth and in fact,” the filings read, “the professor only took interest in defendant Papadopoulos because of his status with the Campaign.”