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Papadopoulos' fiancée says he was in contact with Bannon, Flynn during campaign

FILE: George Papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos via Twitter

The fiancee of George Papadopoulos told ABC News he was intimately involved in the campaign, and in regular contact with former Trump aides Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn. Her comments this week seem to contradict the assertion from the administration that Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was a virtually unknown figure who had minimal involvement in the campaign. 

Simona Mangiante, Papadopoulos' Italian fiancée, said he arranged meetings "all over the world" for key campaign officials, and was "constantly in touch" with top campaign officials, including Bannon and Flynn. Mangiante emphasized Papadopoulos was more than just a coffee boy on the campaign trail. After the former campaign aide pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last month, Mr. Trump tweeted that he was a "young, low level volunteer" who "few people knew," and former campaign adviser and Mr. Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Caputo called him a "coffee boy."

"First of all, I would love George to learn how to make a coffee, because it's absolutely out of his skills," Mangiante joked to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "George is a remarkable young man with incredible experience in the field of energy and oil policies. This experience led him to get into the campaign and to advise the president at only 28 years old."

Mangiante told ABC News she believes his role will be the "first domino" in the Russia probe. 

Papadopoulos lied to the FBI during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His guilty plea came the same day former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Manafort's associate Rick Gates were charged with conspiracy and money laundering charges in federal court in D.C. 

Mangiante said she was brought in to an FBI office in Chicago as a part of the probe. The woman said it was difficult to watch her fiancé marginalized by his old colleagues, and told ABC News Papadopoulos was "very brave and decent" to take responsibility in the case. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.