Alexander Downer's secret meeting with Federal Bureau of Investigation led to Trump-Russia inquiry

In December last year it was reported that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos told Australian diplomat

FBI agents have interviewed Alexander Downer as part of their investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the United States presidential election, according to a new report.

The Times previously reported that a young foreign policy aide on the Trump campaign, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosWe must get to the bottom of Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election Intelligence report defends Trump, draws attacks from Dems Schiff on Intel report: GOP "chose not to seriously investigate" collusion MORE, revealed he knew of hacked Democratic Party emails to Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer over late night drinks in London.

Levin referred to a report at the New York Times earlier that day which outlines the origins of the FBI's secretive probe into what it suspected were the Trump campaign's dealings with the Kremlin.

That person met "several times" with campaign national security advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, according to the report, which offered no additional information on the informant's identity or connection with USA authorities.

The New York Times first revealed late a year ago it was at a boozy night in May 2016, at London's Kensington Wine Rooms, that Trump's then foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told Downer Russia had dirt on Mr Trump's political rival Hillary Clinton.

The existence of a top secret Federal Bureau of Investigation source was reported by The Washington Post back on May 8.

"The agents summarised their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened".

Donald Trump's relations with Australia were tested when he took office past year over a refugee swap deal and the FBI's investigation into his 2016 campaign has the potential to cause a new diplomatic rift.

"The government won't be making additional comments on a matter that relates to an ongoing investigation in the U.S.", he said at the time.

The FBI agents summarised "their highly unusual interview" and their report helped provide the foundation for a case that became the probe headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

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