The Washington Post reports: A brass band played, fighter jets streaked the clear blue sky and a red carpet adorned the airport tarmac on the day in May 2016 when Vladimir Putin came to Athens for a visit.
“Mr. President, welcome to Greece,” the Greek defense minister, Panos Kammenos, said in Russian as he smiled broadly and greeted a stone-faced Putin at the base of the stairs from the plane.
Kammenos, a pro-Russian Greek nationalist who bragged often of his insider Moscow connections, would receive a second key visitor that day, but with considerably less fanfare.
Not yet 30 years old, George Papadopoulos had been unknown in Greece — and everywhere else — only two months before.
But suddenly, just as Putin arrived, he was in Athens, quietly holding meetings across town and confiding in hushed tones that he was there on a sensitive mission on behalf of his boss, Donald Trump. [Continue reading…]