Frank Figliuzzi, the former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, has seen his share of drug cartel stings — and sees their language in the way President Donald Trump has responded to the latest news in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
On Tuesday, after the world was introduced to former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators in exchange for information about potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, Trump doubled down on his insistence that his former adviser was inconsequential and a mere volunteer. Another Trump campaign adviser went so far as to call Papadopoulos a “coffee boy” despite the president naming him in a list of advisers while on the campaign trail.
“What this reminds me of, throughout my FBI career, is dozens of wire taps of drug rings,” Figliuzzi said. “‘Who’s gonna be the courier today? Who are we sending out as the mule who’s expendable, who’s throwaway, who will give us plausible deniability when he’s caught with ten kilos of cocaine?'”
“In this case, we’re seeing something similar, and that’s Papadopoulos. We have…Manafort saying ‘DT’s not gonna do these meetings, you are, it’s gonna stay at the low level,'” the ex-FBI assistant director involved in the declassification of documents about Hillary Clinton nearly being intercepted by Russian spies said. “That’s very reminiscent of listening to a drug cartel.”
“That I hadn’t heard before,” host Brooke Baldwin noted.
Watch the former FBI counterintelligence official explain the similarities between the Papadopoulos scandal and drug cartels below, via CNN.