Simona Mangiante described the first day she spent working for Joseph Mifsud, the London professor who, in the spring of 2016, told Trump campaign staffer, George Papadopoulos, that the Russian government had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.
“I knew something was wrong from the first day I arrived there,” Mangiante said. “It all felt very artificial. I had worked in real diplomatic environments and this didn’t feel that way at all. I never even had clarity about who [Mifsud] actually was.”
Mifsud received additional scrutiny by Russian meddling investigators when it was reported recently by the New York Times that Papadopoulos had told an Australian diplomat Russia had incriminating information on Clinton during a night of heavy drinking in a London bar in May 2016. That meeting purportedly took place one month after Papadopoulos met with Mifsud. That Australian diplomat eventually informed Australian government officials who in turn informed US government officials. The conversation is now believed to be the genesis of the US’ Russian investigation.
Mifsud had worked at the London Centre of International Law Practice. He was listed as the center’s directory as recently as October, but his profile was removed shortly after it was announced that Papadopoulos had been indicted that same month for making false statements to the FBI. Beyond that, not much is known about the mysterious professor. He has been missing from Link Campus University in Rome, where he has worked intermittently for the past 18 years.
Mangiante came to work for Mifsud in late 2016 when she answered a job post on LinkedIn by Mifsud’s organization looking to hire people who had worked for the EU. Mangiante met Papadopoulos on the same network, when Papadopoulos messaged her asking about Mifsud. “What does he do?” Papadopoulos reportedly asked.
Papadopoulos and Mangiante were engaged in September of last year, about a year after they first met. They plan to have an engagement party this month and are hoping to get married this summer in Italy.