George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, met with donors and headlined the 80th annual summer party and BBQ of the Glendale Burbank Republican Assembly Sunday afternoon at a private estate in La Cañada.
“We want to give you an inside view of how the media does machinate and manipulate things to distort reality to fit a narrative,” said Papadopoulos with his wife, Simona Mangiante, by his side. “And in this case, the narrative was to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency.”
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in 2017 for lying to the FBI during its Russia investigation and spent 12 days in jail. He shared his story, which he details in his book “Deep State Target” along with plans and political predictions with an audience of approximately 300 Republicans.
He accused former FBI Director James Comey and other top-ranking officials of corruption and criminal activity intended to frame him and other former Trump Administration officials in a conspiracy.
Papadopoulos told the audience he believes ongoing investigations into the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation, including those led by U.S. Atty. John Durham and Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, will show evidence of collusion between the Obama Administration and foreign governments against a Trump presidency.
“When you see people, when you hear people like [Sean] Hannity and some other commentators on Fox News talk about foreign governments interfering in the democratic process in this country, they did. But I don’t know what the Russians did, because I never met a Russian official in my life,” he said.
Papadopoulos hopes future legislation will reign in the powers of the U.S. intelligence community, calling such a step a “positive step for this country.”
“This is about the institution of democracy and justice in this country, and that was eviscerated three years ago in this country under Jim Comey, [former CIA director] John Brennan and eventually [special counsel] Bob Mueller,” said Papadopoulos, referring to his earlier accusations of criminal activity against top FBI officials.
“They saw [Donald Trump] as a threat to the ‘deep state,’ to the swamp, and foreign governments, [which] themselves had a vested interest in a Clinton presidency,” he added.
Following his formal remarks, Papadopoulos answered questions from the audience. He shared that he joined Trump’s 2016 campaign early because of the candidate’s message of putting America first and restoring the country’s morals and social norms. “We feel American again,” he said.
He claimed that social media companies like Twitter have censored conservatives, adding Google’s algorithms produce search results that portray Republicans in a negative light. Despite his setbacks, Papadopoulos said he is considering running for a seat in the U.S House of Representatives in his new home state of California, citing targeted Congressional districts in Orange County.
Five protesters were present outside the event with a copy of the Mueller Report in hand to protest Papadopoulos, according to East Area Progressive Democrats President Hans Johnson, an organizer of the protest.
“We wanted to show we’re awake and aware and deeply concerned about the direction that local Republicans are taking,” Johnson said, calling the invitation of Papadopoulos to speak at the La Cañada event “alarming.”
Kevork Kurdoghlian is a contributing writer to Times Community News.