The FBI reportedly decided to open its investigation into the Trump campaign after George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser for the Trump team, drunkenly admitted to an Australian diplomat the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton, an admission that came weeks before WikiLeaks began publishing its tranche of hacked emails.
Papadopoulos made the revelation in May 2016 to Alexander Downer, the top Australian diplomat in Britain, while he was drinking at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London. Three weeks earlier, a professor with ties to the Russian government told Papadopoulos the Russians had emails that would be damaging to Clinton, according to the New York Times.
Australian officials notified American officials about Papadopoulos’s statements two months later when WikiLeaks began publishing the hacked emails from Democratic officials, American and foreign officials told the New York Times.
According to the New York Times, it was Papadopoulos’s revelation to the Australian diplomat, as well as the hacked emails, that served as the catalysts for the FBI’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
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