Former Trump campaign aide sentenced - and his lawyer blames Trump

George Papadopoulos arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington

He was handed a 14-day jail term as he told a court in Washington: "In January 2017, I made a bad mistake for which I paid dearly, I am ashamed".

George Papadopoulos was the first to plead guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Papadopoulos apologized for his actions, telling a judge that he had made a "dreadful mistake" and was eager for redemption.

Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S Mueller III had asked the judge to sentence Papadopoulos to six months in prison, saying his false statements "were meant to harm the investigation, and did so".

Moss said he wanted to impose some prison time because while he did not "remotely believe Mr. Papadopoulos was seeking to assist the Russian government", he was nevertheless troubled by Papadopoulos' selfish motives to lie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation so that he would not lose a shot at getting a possible job in the Trump administration.

A pre-sentencing statement last week read: "While some in the room rebuffed George's offer, Mr Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr Sessions, who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it".

He was the first to plead guilty in Mueller's probe and is now the first Trump campaign adviser to be sentenced.

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"It was at best begrudging efforts to cooperate and we don't think they were substantial or significant in any regard", he said.

"The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did", Papadopoulos lawyer Thomas Breen said in court Friday. "I don't know him", Trump said to reporters after the sentencing, according to CNN.

However, reporting has suggested that he had been more involved with the campaign than the Trump team has let on.

He portrayed Papadopoulos as a naive young man who was "being worked by a pro", a reference to Professor Mifsud, whom he later said he believes was working for Russian Federation and trying to take advantage of his client. He admitted to lying about those contacts to Mueller's team, which investigators said led them to miss a chance to interview the professor, Joseph Mifsud.

In hindsight, he said in court, he recognizes that was wrong and "might have harmed the investigation". Mifsud left the United States and not returned, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation found him in the USA on February 11, 2017, about two weeks after Papadopoulos's first interview.

The lawyers portrayed Papadopoulos as "out of his depth" as a foreign policy adviser for a candidate for whom he had "unbridled loyalty".

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