On Monday, George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, plead guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigations about a meeting with a professor with close ties to the Russian government, according to the New York Times. Papadopoulos' guilty plea is the latest shakeup in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's influence on the 2016 election. Oddly, it's also the most hilarious. Just read these jokes about George Papadopoulos and Webster, the TV show. This is what the internet is made for.
Confused? Before George Papadopoulos was a name on Mueller's indictment list, he was a character on the hit series, Webster, that first aired in 1983. The role of Webster's adoptive father was played by Alex Karras, a former football player with the Detroit Lions who passed away in 2012 from kidney failure, according to People. IMDb lists Karras as filling this character role until Webster was cancelled in 1989.
There's one small difference between George Papadopoulos, the TV dad, and George Padaopoulous, the guilty former Trump adviser: The surnames are different. The Webster character's last name is actually spelled Papadapolis, according to Fox News. Still, that hasn't stopped Twitter users from cracking wise.
Webster jokes aside, Papadopoulos' indictment is a major bombshell in Mueller's probe into the Trump administration's ties to the Russian government. According to NBC News, the ex-Trump adviser first claimed that he had made contacts with foreign nationals connected to the Russia government before joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy team member in March 2016. But unsealed court documents revealed that he started communications with the Kremlin-connected contact known as "the professor" after joining the campaign team, NBC News reported.
The court documents also disclosed how his contacts allegedly had "dirt" on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was running against Trump in the 2016 election, according to NBC News. Papadopoulos first claimed to the FBI that the professor, who lived in London, was "a nothing," but they were anything but; according to the court documents, the professor allegedly told the former Trump campaign adviser that Russian officials had "thousands of emails" on Clinton.
Mueller's team wrote about the indictment,
Through his false statements and omissions, defendant ... impeded the FBI's ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the Campaign and the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
Papadopoulos plead guilty to making false statements three weeks ago, NPR reported, but the plea deal wasn't revealed until Monday, when the court documents became public. The announcement follows news that the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was taken into federal custody, and Rick Gates, a top aide who surrendered himself to the FBI. According to NPR, Manafort and Gates were charged Monday morning with "conspiracy against the United States," and "conspiracy to launder money," among 10 other counts.
Washington insiders and political experts long expected charges to be filed against Manafort. The former Trump campaign chairman had been under investigation for months for his connections to Russia and his allegedly shady business dealings, according to Salon. Gates, on the hand, has not been a household name since the Russia probe began, but has played a major role in the events as Manafort's right-hand man, according to ABC News. He joined Trump's team at the same time as Manafort, but the pair's relationship began years ago when Gates joined Manafort's political consulting firms, ABC News reported.
Unsurprisingly, according to Metro, Trump has begun ranting on Twitter about the indictments, which are considered just the tip of the iceberg. But let's not pay attention to that. Let's focus on the fact that, in the middle of all this, a former Trump adviser with a similar name to a TV character has launched a thousand jokes on social media.