George Papadopoulos was sitting four chairs away from Donald Trump in March 2016 when he made his pitch: He had high-level Russian government connections who could arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After debating the offer for 10 minutes, Trump and his top foreign policy advisors declined, said a former campaign aide who attended the meeting at Trump International Hotel in Washington.
“They shut it down,” the aide said.
But Papadopoulos didn’t give up. For weeks, he continued to try to set himself up as a go-between with Moscow. A virtual unknown in foreign policy circles, he seemed determined to make himself a significant...