Washington — President Donald Trump says a campaign advisor who has admitted to lying to the FBI about meetings with Russian intermediaries was a "low level volunteer" who was "proven to be a liar."
Trump on Twitter Tuesday sought to distance himself from George Papadopoulos: "Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar."
Court documents say Papadopoulos was approached by people claiming ties to Russia and offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails." Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about the conversations.
Court papers unsealed Monday also revealed an indictment against Trump's former campaign chairperson, Paul Manafort.
Trump said the allegations happened "long before" he joined the campaign. But the indictment details allegations stretching from 2006 to 2017.
A personal lawyer for President Donald Trump says the president is not planning to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia probe. And, Jay Sekulow (SEHK'-yoo-loh) says, pardons for his former campaign aides facing federal charges "are not on the table."
Sekulow's comments to ABC's "Good Morning America" come a day after a former Trump aide admitted lying to the FBI about meeting with Russian intermediaries and former campaign chairperson Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges.
Sekulow says: "The president has not indicated to me or to anyone else that I work with that he has any intent on terminating Robert Mueller."
On pardons, Sekulow says: "I have not had a conversation with the president regarding pardons. And pardons are not on the table."
The Kremlin says Russia is not implicated by the first criminal cases against associates of President Donald Trump.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says that "so far Russia doesn't figure in any way in these charges which have been made" and that Russia hopes that they do not feed "hysteria."
Peskov adds that accusations of Russian meddling in the election remain "unfounded," and "we are observing (the situation) with interest."
Peskov also says that connections between former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos and a man he believed to have links to the Russian Foreign Ministry did not prove any complicity by the Russian government.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has sent a warning to individuals in President Donald Trump's orbit: If they lie about contacts between the president's campaign and Russians, they'll end up on the wrong end of federal criminal charges.
With the disclosure of the first criminal cases in his investigation, Mueller also showed that he will not hesitate to bring charges against people close to the campaign even if they don't specifically pertain to Russian election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Court papers unsealed Monday revealed an indictment against Trump's former campaign chairperson, Paul Manafort, and a guilty plea by another advisor, who admitted to lying to the FBI about meetings with Russian intermediaries.