Ex-Trump aide George Papadopoulos jailed for lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation

George Papadopoulos and wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos after their Chicago wedding

"In January 2017, I made a bad mistake for which I paid dearly, I am ashamed", Papadopoulos told the court in Washington.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of up to six months, while defense lawyers asked for probation.

The president used his former aide's conviction to deride Mueller's inquiry on Twitter, implying that each day of the 14-day sentence equaled $2 million in the investigation's budget.

He is the first former campaign aide to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

The Democratic National Committee, which is suing Russian Federation, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the alleged election interference in the 2016, filed a court document on Friday, saying Mr Mifsud "was missing and may be deceased", without any further explanation, according to Bloomberg News.

"In some ways it constitutes a calculated exercise of self interest over the national interest", the judge said. They are cooperating with investigators and await sentencing.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts during the campaign with Russian and Russian operatives. Maria said that the judge "got it right" in giving Papadopoulos 14 days in prison. "A great day for America!" the president tweeted.

The FBI launched its investigation of possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign after learning that Papadopoulos had boasted to an Australian diplomat that the Russian government had political dirt on Clinton more than a month before Moscow's hacking efforts were known publicly. That probe was later taken over by Mueller.

"He struck me as someone who was validating rumors", Papadopoulos said of his April 2016 meeting with Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor who told him that Russian Federation had a cache of Hillary Clinton's emails. Trump tweeted. Senator Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has its own Russian Federation collusion investigation, applauded Mueller's work.

31 year-old George Papadopoulos told a sentencing hearing in Washington DC that he was a "patriotic American" who made a mistake by lying.

Even after his arrest and plea agreement past year, prosecutors say Papadopoulos continued to be hard with investigators, only providing information after being confronted with documents such as emails and text messages.

More news: Florence becomes a hurricane, takes aim at US Southeast

Stephanopoulos asked the couple about a Democratic National Committee lawsuit suggesting that Mifsud might be dead.

Thomas Breen, an attorney representing Papadopoulos, told the court that his client made a "stupid mistake" and that his actions were "unsophisticated" and those of "a fool". Instead, prosecutor Andrew Goldstein said he made "at best grudging efforts to cooperate, and we don't think they were substantial or significant in any regard".

He said Papadopoulos' deception required investigators to scour more than 100,000 emails and gigabytes of data to reconstruct the timeline of his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries.

He admitted a year ago to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about those contacts. Papadopoulos lied to the FBI, Breen said, because he wanted to "keep his name in the hopper" for a position in the Trump administration.

"The president of the United States, the commander in chief, had told the world that this was fake news and a witch hunt", Breen said.

Breen described his client as a "patriot", who wasn't trying to help Russian Federation. Told the campaign's priority was to improve relations with Russian Federation, within weeks Papadopoulos made contact with a mysterious professor, Joseph Mifsud, who touted links to the Kremlin. "I looked at candidate Trump directly in his eyes and said, 'I can do this for you if it's in your interest and if it's in the campaign's interest.' And the collective energy in the room, of course, there were some dissenters, but the collective energy in the room seem to be interested".

Beyond his conversation with Mifsud about emails, Papadopoulos said he hoped the professor could use his Kremlin ties to broker "some sort of summit or meeting, mostly for a photo-op" between Trump and Putin. Sessions' attorney Chuck Cooper said the attorney general "stands by his testimony" about his recollection of the meeting with Trump's foreign policy team. He participated in four proffer sessions, they said, and "was willing to answer any questions posed".

In the following months, thousands of emails linked to the Clinton campaign were published by Wikileaks.

Weeks later, stolen Clinton emails were leaked over the internet by what United States intelligence chiefs now say were Russian intelligence actors.

His mother, Kiki Papadopoulos, who remains a Trump supporter, said she was satisfied with the judge's decision.

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