Alexander Downer: the gaffe-prone conservative and unlikely anti-Trump hero

Malcolm Turnbull does not believe relations with the Trump Whitehouse will suffer

The news appears to add to the number of pieces of intelligence, separate from a dossier compiled by a former British spy about Trump-Russia ties, that raised concerns among USA national security officials and propelled an investigation. Instead, it was firsthand information from one of America's closest intelligence allies.

Furthermore, as Byron York of the Washington Examiner notes, it is not clear that the "dirt" Papadopoulos was taking about referred to the DNC emails, but could well have referred to the 30,000 "missing" emails that Hillary Clinton had deleted from her illicit private email server. According to the DNI, stolen emails were then provided to WikiLeaks, which released the email contents to the public over the course of the USA election.

When leaked Democratic emails began appearing online in July, apparently timed to the Democratic national convention, Australian officials passed on the information about Papadopoulos to the United States, according to the Times, citing four current and former American and foreign officials.

Republican lawmakers have questioned how heavily the Federal Bureau of Investigation relied on the dossier for the Russian Federation probe and for a secret surveillance warrant obtained in September 2016 against Carter Page, another Trump campaign adviser.

According to the SMH report, Mr Downer relayed the fact of the conversation with Papadopoulos in a diplomatic cable to Canberra.

THE investigation into alleged Russian links to Donald Trump's presidential campaign was sparked by a drunken tip-off at a London bar, according to a bombshell report.

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Graham said he still wants an examination of the FBI's use of a dossier on links between Trump and Russian Federation that was compiled by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, which prompted Trump allies and some Republicans to question Mueller's inquiry.

Mr Papadopoulos said such contacts occurred before he joined Mr Trump's campaign, but that later turned out to be false.

The Times reported that the meeting between the Australian high commisisoner and the Trump aide was arranged through Israeli connections.

The investigation led by Robert Mueller quickly caught up with him. "In addition, public disclosure of the defendant's arrest and the accompanying criminal charges may alert other subjects to the direction and status of the investigation".

"And we all need to let Mr. Mueller do his job".

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said today he isn't anxious the report about Downer's role.

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