In an interview with ABC News, former FBI director James Comey confirmed the significance of George Papadopoulos, the former aide to US President Donald Trump who was the spark for an investigation into the potential interference of Russia in the last US presidential elections.
Comey revealed that Papadopoulos's conversations with various people in the UK and Italy were the basis of the FBI's investigation.
Up until Papadopoulos's arrest in July 2017, the US authorities had no evidence regarding potential Russian involvement in the US election result.
In the interview, Comey said the FBI discovered at the end of July 2017 that Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser for Trump, had been speaking in London with someone about the "dirt" that Russians purportedly had on Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democrat adversary, as part of a bid to influence the election result.
The probe was launched on the basis of "credible" information that Papadopoulos had conversations aimed at obtaining information from the Russians, Comey said, suggesting that Papadopoulos revealed incriminating information about Trump during the investigation.