A former foreign policy adviser to President Trump claimed that he lied to the FBI out of loyalty to the president, according to ABC.
A person with "directly knowledge" of the investigation told ABC News that George Papadopoulos did not want to contradict Trump, who has denied any allegations of Russian connections. However, the report did not identify or quote the source directly.
Papadopolous pleaded guilty in early October after he initially lied to the FBI when questioned about any contact he had with Russians.
Federal court filings show that Papadopoulos was found to have been in contact with a professor who had deep ties to Russia after he was part of the Trump campaign. But Papadopoulos claimed his contact with the professor was before he joined the campaign.
"In truth and in fact, the professor only took interest in defendant Papadopoulos because of his status with the campaign," the filings stated.
Papadopoulos is now cooperating with the FBI in its investigation, but Trump has downplayed Papadopoulos' role in the campaign. Trump said that "few people knew the young, low-level volunteer named George."