Trump tweeted today:

The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!

True? or is Trump wrong?

  • Please clarify what you seek that isn't covered in Wikipedia? (the most embarassing quote of my week: 'Gates delegated the task to the campaign's correspondence coordinator, referring to him as "the person responding to all mail of non-importance"' in reference to emai from GeorgeP)
    – user5341
    Nov 1 '17 at 1:02
  • 11
    -1 I can write a bot which posts all Trump's tweets, adding Is this true? at the end. Which claim exactly do we focus on? or is it all of them?
    – rath
    Nov 1 '17 at 9:34
  • 3
    @rath the one in the title, obviously, "Did only a few people in Trump's campaign know George Papadopoulos?" - it's tricky because "a few" isn't exactly precise, but you could answer it with evidence that he, for example, attended major campaign meetings and so on Nov 1 '17 at 10:02
  • 3
    If everybody knows him from that one time he got drunk and danced on the tables during an office party, does that mean everybody knew him? And what constitutes as few? 10 people? 10 percent?
    – Jordy
    Nov 1 '17 at 10:02
  • @Jordy Then we ask, 10% of who? Earth's human population, United States citizens, United States politicians? Super vague claim.
    – JMac
    Nov 1 '17 at 11:03

Whether "few people" knew him or not is an impossible assessment to make. How does one judge that? How many Facebook friends he has?

So, even though we hate to do this on this particular stack exchange, we have to look at what Trump is claiming. It's pretty clear that he's claiming that this person was a nobody, in terms of importance, and clearly not connected to him, directly.

So, very likely, he is lying, in that context. Papadopoulos was part of Trump's primary five-person foreign policy team. He named him, by name, to the Washington Post, and described him as "an excellent guy." I guess him being named in a prominent newspaper also technically makes it false that "few people knew him," since the Washington Post is the second-most read information source, reaching tens of millions of readers every month. Ironically, the reason we can rate that claim to be false is thanks to Trump's own introduction of him as a member of his foreign policy advisory team.

WP: The Washington Post surges to 76 million monthly users

WP: The Washington Post reached 107 million readers in November 2016

That's a person who directly interacts with the President, and has access that others don't. If anyone wants to contest this as lies or "fake," in addition to the transcript of the meeting, there is the audio of it, as well.

Washington Post: A transcript of Trump's meeting with the Washington Post Editorial Board

There is also a photo of Papadopoulos in a meeting with Trump and about 8 or 9 other high level administration personnel, including eventual cabinet-level people. He's seated right at the table, not in the background somewhere, four people to Trump's right. Low-level nobodies don't "get a seat at the table."

Trump Meeting

"Proven to be a liar?" - yes, this is accurate, since he pled guilty to lying to the FBI. What was he guilty of lying about? The claim that they did not try to collude with the Russians as part of the Trump campaign. So, that fact actually undermines Trump's attempted minimizing/deflection.

To sum up the highlighted Tweet portion -

Was known only to a few? No, false.

Was he a low-level volunteer? Yes, volunteer, but no, not "low level." He had direct access to the president and was part of a small, trusted and important advisory team, and was included in high level meetings as a principle participant.

Is he a proven liar? Yes, but the statements he has been proven to have lied about are the same statements that Trump and his administration are making about the allegations of collusion with hostile foreign entities.

  • 2
    You may have shown Trump is wrong, but you haven't shown that Trump knows he is wrong and is saying it deliberately, so you should remove the statement that Trump is lying.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 2 '17 at 5:18
  • 8
    @Oddthinking - Trump is the one who appointed him to his foreign policy board. Trump is the one who boasted about his excellence to the WP board. Trump is the one who sat with him on high-level meetings. To claim he doesn't "know" that this person is not a low-level nobody is completely and utterly absurd. By that standard, no one, ever, can be said to lie about anything. Nov 2 '17 at 13:43
  • 3
    Correct. On this site, no one, ever, can be said to lie about anything. It is imputing motives, which cannot be demonstrated with empirical evidence, so it doesn't belong here.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 2 '17 at 14:58
  • Note: Trump does not deny knowing who he was.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 2 '17 at 14:59
  • 5
    @Oddthinking - Note: no one, anywhere, claims that he does. Imputing motives would be to pretend to know why he lies. By his own words, he described the person in question as someone prominent and of importance, and he was directly involved in giving him that kind of status within his campaign. We, empirically, know that he knows this, because he is the one responsible. We know, knowing this, that he has made untrue statements about it. We know, empirically, that he is lying. To me, it seems foolish to do so, so I don't understand or claim to understand his motivations. Nov 2 '17 at 15:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .