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White House Sources: Trump ‘Working Hard’ to Find Ways to Dismiss Mueller, Issue Blanket Pardons

George Papadopolous with Donald Trump in 2016. Mueller indicted him
George Papadopolous in a National Security meeting with Donald Trump in 2016

While Trump and officials close to him insist to the media that this week’s indictments of former campaign officials Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos are nothing to worry about, White House officials say the president is working hard to find ways to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and issue presidential pardons.



Officials said Trump has been asking his legal team to find rationale for dismissing Mueller without triggering a constitutional crisis. He has also indicated that he wants to pardon anyone indicted by Mueller, particularly former campaign manager Manafort who is said to know “a lot” about Trump’s dealings with Russia.

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“Trump is worried that Manafort will decide to cooperate with Mueller and may have assured his former campaign manager not to worry about any indictments because he intends to pardon him,” a White House source told The Liberal Advocate News on Tuesday.

The president has also told his aides to depict Papadopoulos as a low-level campaign staffer who knew nothing about the campaign and who is known as a liar.

Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted that few people knew Papadopoulos, deriding him as “the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar.”

However, photos surfaced Tuesday showing Papadopoulos sitting four seats away from Trump during a meeting of his national security team in March 2016. Trump also posted photos to his Instagram account showing both men during meetings.






Trump praised Papadopoulos last year. “He’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy,” Trump said in 2016. Later while speaking with The Washington Post, Trump repeated his praise, saying that “he is an excellent guy.”

Papadopolous who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI (see indictment document below), worked for the Trump campaign starting in March 2016. He was part of a national security team led by Sessions (now Attorney General) that also included energy industry executive Carter Page, former government inspector general Joe Schmitz and former Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg.

“Trump is worried that Manafort will decide to cooperate with Mueller and may have assured his former campaign manager not to worry about any indictments because he intends to pardon him,” a White House source told The Liberal Advocate News on Tuesday.

Besides Papadopoulos, Special Counsel Mueller also indicted adviser Rick Gates and Manafort but the Trump team who have gone into overtime to try to distance the president from the indictments are so far declining to turn their firepower on Gates and Manafort like they have done on Papadopoulos.






Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo told CNN Tuesday that Papadopoulos was just “a coffee boy” for the Trump campaign while White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he “played a minimal role” during the presidential campaign.

Ms. Sanders later dismissed the photo showing Trump sitting a few feet away from Papadopoulos, saying that “the president has thousands of photographs with millions of people.” She said Manafort was “brought in to lead the delegate process, which he did, and was dismissed not too long after that.” She deliberately omitted the time Manafort led the Trump campaign.

On Tuesday Trump lied about the Mueller indictments insisting that he felt vindicated because the main indictment against Manafort – money laundering and conspiracy – “took place long before he came to the campaign.” That however, is not true because the indictment included the period Manafort was the manager of the Trump campaign.




Experts say Trump is doing everything he can to divert attention from the indictments. He tweeted Tuesday that he hopes Americans will focus on his tax cuts. “I hope people will start to focus on our Massive Tax Cuts for Business (jobs) and the Middle Class (in addition to Democrat corruption)!”

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But the Washington Post reported that Trump has been fuming, is exasperated and disgusted by news reports about the indictments. “The walls are closing in,” said one senior Republican in close contact with top staffers who spoke on the condition of anonymity “Everyone is freaking out.

 

 

The Staff of The Liberal Advocate News

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