(CN) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday he sees absolutely nothing wrong in a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump reaching out to a Kremlin-linked think tank.
Speaking with reporters in Moscow, Lavrov says he “does not see anything illegal” in the contacts between George Papadopoulos, who was working for the Trump campaign, and Russians he believed had information that would be detrimental to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Court papers unsealed on Monday in Washington revealed Papadopoulos was reaching out to an individual he believed had ties to the Russian foreign ministry to arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign team and Russian officials.
The Russian International Relations Council on Monday confirmed contact with Papadopoulos, but said a meeting never took place. The council also insisted that it was an independent advisory body and that it hosts many politicians at various public meetings.
Meanwhile, in the United States, President Donald Trump is seeking to distance himself from Papadopoulos, taking to Twitter Tuesday to dismiss the campaign adviser as a “low level volunteer” who was “proven to be a liar.”
“Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar,” Trump said.
Trump also sought to put space between himself and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who was indicted on a dozen charges Monday stemming from his lobbying for foreign entities, including the Ukraine.
Trump said the allegations happened “long before” Manafort joined the campaign. But the indictment details allegations stretching from 2006 to 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.