STRANGER DANGER

Report: Trump Aide Papadopoulos Said Sessions ‘Encouraged’ Contact With Clinton ‘Dirt’ Professor

Maybe stay home next time, George Papadopoulos? The former Trump campaign aide is reported to have told a stranger at a Chicago nightclub that now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions “encouraged” him in 2016 to “find out anything he could about the hacked Hillary Clinton emails,” according to a report from ThinkProgress. Jason Wilson, a computer programmer, told the outlet that he saw Papadopoulos and his social-media-friendly wife, Simona Mangiante, at Chicago’s Hydrate Thursday night, where they were drinking vodka. Wilson said he proceeded to make small talk about the Trump Russia investigation—and then Papadopoulos reportedly told him that things were “just getting started.” The Mueller indictee also said Sessions pushed him to get more information about the emails from Joseph Mifsud, the academic with high-level Russian connections who has reportedly vanished. Mangiante confirmed to ThinkProgress that she was at the nightclub with Papadopoulos Thursday evening, but denied that he told Wilson anything relating to the investigation. Mangiante also sent a Twitter direct message to Wilson, saying the conversation was  “a misunderstanding!” A request for comment from Sessions was not returned. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Mifsud and other matters. His contact with an Australian diplomat at a London bar in the summer of 2016 is said to have triggered the U.S. intel community’s probe of possible Trump collusion with Russia in the election.