From there, he joined the London Center of International Law Practice as director of the organization’s Center for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security,
according to a staff directory preserved on the Internet Archive. After about three months in that job, he left in March 2016 to sign on with Trump, who described him in an interview with The Washington Post at the time as “an energy consultant.”
It’s unclear when, how or why Papadopoulos turned his focus to U.S. relations with Russia, but almost immediately, he was telling his campaign bosses that he was in contact with the woman he thought was Putin’s niece and that he might be able to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin, prosecutors said.
That account was backed up in August, in part, by Ivan Timofeev, director of programs of the Russian International Affairs Council, a Moscow-based think tank founded in 2010 by the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Russian news agency Interfax.
In an Aug. 21 interview with the Russian news site Gazeta, Timofeev said Papadopoulos approached him sometime in spring 2016 seeking to arrange “a visit to Russia either for Trump himself or for a member of his team ‘to discuss Russia-U.S. relations.'” He said Papadopoulos represented himself as a member of the Trump campaign.
Timofeev described Papadopoulos as “an enthusiast with little experience.”
“Our conversations made it clear that George was not well acquainted with the Russian foreign political landscape,” Timofeev said. “You obviously can’t just go and set up a meeting with the president, for instance. Things just aren’t done that way.”
He said he recommended some public reports and “analytical materials” for Papadopoulos to read to get up to speed.
Papadopoulos’ LinkedIn page appears to lend credence to characterizations that he was a relative neophyte who was trying to wedge his way into the U.S.-Russia discussion.
In a reference that was later removed — but which is preserved on the Internet Archive — Papadopoulos listed at the top of his list of awards and honors that he was a U.S. representative at the Model United Nations. That’s a mock U.N. session where high school and college students practice being U.N. delegates.
And on the still-live version of his LinkedIn biography, Papadopoulos claims to have been a speaker at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016.
There are no records of that in convention schedules, news accounts or C-SPAN’s complete recordings of Papadopoulos’ having spoken at the convention. But a
news report in the Cleveland Jewish News does recount Papadopoulos’ having been one of six members of a panel discussion that the American Jewish Committee hosted on July 20 at The City Club of Cleveland.
The Cleveland Jewish News report includes a photograph showing Papadopoulos seated at a table with the other panelists in a small room in front of an American Jewish Committee sign.