Updated: Jan 18, 2021
As a member of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team, Papadopoulos positioned himself as a conduit between foreign officials and the Trump campaign. The foreign policy team was not well vetted or controlled and exposed the campaign to counterintelligence threats. Papadopoulos’ dealings with Russian officials were mostly conducted through Joseph Mifsud, Olga Polonskaya, Sergei Millian, and Ivan Timofeev who all displayed behavior consistent with intelligence tradecraft. Papadopoulos was never a witting participant with Russian intelligence services but was a prime target. Papadopoulos also had dealings with foreign officials from Australia, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Japan, and the UK.
Within the Trump campaign, Papadopoulos seems to have been encouraged by some and ignored by most. He was asked to stop talking to the press multiple times but continued to get permission from the campaign to do so. He was asked to stop representing himself as an advisor to the campaign yet managed to continue his contact with the campaign after the election and through the transition. He was arrested and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in a January 2017 interview.