President Trump's former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos repeatedly boasted about his role in the 2016 presidential campaign to Greek newspaper reporters, going so far as to claim that he had been offered a "blank check" to pick a senior administration job after the election, Politico reports. While the Greek journalists observed Papadopoulos' tendency toward exaggeration, their account illustrates the chasm of difference between Papadopoulos' and Trump's public interpretation of his role in the campaign.
Papadopoulos was arrested in July and charged with making false statements about his attempts to get "dirt" on Hillary Clinton via a Russian contact. Papadopoulos also pitched Trump on meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a suggestion Attorney General Jeff Sessions mostly confirmed he shot down. Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo argued on CNN that Papadopoulos' import on the campaign team has been wildly overblown: "He was the coffee boy!" Caputo told host Chris Cuomo.
Papadopoulos, though, told the Greek reporters that Trump had personally called him in March 2016 for a short, introductory conversation after he was invited to the foreign policy advisory team. On March 21, Trump singled Papadopoulos out to Washington Post reporters: "He's an energy and oil consultant," Trump raved. "Excellent guy."
Papadopoulos thought so too, later texting the reporters: "Everyone knows I helped [get Trump] elected, now I want to help him with the presidency." Read more about Papadopoulos' claims at Politico.