Wife of Trump adviser in Wisconsin prison says he ‘doesn’t deserve to be in jail’
Papadopoulos sentence for lying to investigators
MADISON, Wis. — As a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump begins a sentence at a Wisconsin prison camp, his wife says she is both liberated and defeated by his incarceration, and is still defending any connection he may have to Russian operatives.
Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos was with her husband George Papadopoulos as he was dropped off at Oxford federal prison camp Monday afternoon where he is starting a 14-day sentence.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to lying to investigators about his contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.
— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) November 27, 2018
“There’s mixed feelings between something that finally reached this end, so it’s a sort of liberation from this purgatory we’ve been through for so long,” Mangiante Papadopoulos said in an interview with News 3. “It’s some sort of resignation, it’s ready to get his past back after all he’s been through. He’s ready to deliver his message loud as he’s already started to do.”
George Papadopoulos tweeted Monday before going to the prison camp saying he was “looking forward to publicly testifying shortly after” he completes his sentence.
“And on my side I said also I feel a little defeated because I fought very hard for this not to happen and finally it happened,” Mangiante Papadopoulos said. “I still don’t think he deserves to be in jail even if he’s facing his responsibilities for whatever he did, misremembering a date when he met with a professor, a Maltese professor not Russian professor, and it qualifies as a lie under the law according to the FBI.”
Mangiante Papadopoulos is also a figure in the Russia investigation, having been accused of being a Russian spy and connecting George Papadopoulos to the European professor who told him the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
“I was interviewed by [the] Mueller office almost a year ago, there are a number of coincidences in my background that drew Mueller attention and I would say legitimate attention,” Mangiante Papadopoulos said. “I used to work in politics as well for a long time at the highest level of European Union and I worked shortly for professor Mifsud so I understand this circumstances need to be clarified in a clean way.”
News 3 asked Mangiante Papadopoulos about the latest developments with Mueller saying late Monday that Trump adviser Paul Manafort had lied to investigators and now was considered in violation of his plea deal — and where she thought that indicated the investigation may lead.
“If my husband, George Papadopoulos, is the one who originated the crossfire hurricane, to me this investigation doesn’t have much consistent ground because I know it has nothing to do with Russia,” Mangiante Papadopoulos said. “But I cannot exclude that Mueller has probably other paths to investigate on and of course my experience is limited to my husband’s side so I cannot take an overlook of the entire investigation, even though it’s quite alarming that the one who triggered the investigation is George.”
Papadopoulos will serve his 14-day sentence at the Oxford camp, which is a minimum-security facility, and will go on a year probation and be required to do community service.
His wife says despite the international attention around her husband’s actions, that sentence is long enough.
“I’m used to spending 24 hours a day with George so to me it looks extremely long, it’s sort of a violent separation for people, I’m totally alone in this country, I don’t know anybody, I don’t have family here ” Mangiante Papadopoulos said. “It’s not like my environment is familiar to me, everything is so, new, even Wisconsin. I’m happy to discover this part of America but in other circumstances it would be better.”
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