Yesterday morning, George Papadopoulos emerged from a blithe food coma in his elderly mother’s town of Larissa in Greece—she had made orzo with red sauce and beef, George Papadopoulos’s favorite dish—to find that the world had discovered him and all the Georges Papadopouloses of his ancestral hamlet.
I am back now from our village where there are MANY George Papadopoulos men! News hit here but the name is so common it is not a big deal :)— George Papadopoulos (feeonlyplanner) October 30, 2017
He was not happy.
This is me today when I first saw the news about my "indictment" :)— George Papadopoulos (feeonlyplanner) October 30, 2017
Because this George Papadopoulos was not that George Papadopoulos. A former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump whose sealed plea deal went public on Monday, the other George Papadopoulos admitted to lying to federal investigators who were looking into his rather extensive contacts with a cast of characters that reads like a Russian-themed version of Clue: “the Professor,” “Female Russian National,” and “M.F.A. Contact.”
This George Papadopoulos, a fee-only, certified financial planner based in Novi, Michigan, was at pains to explain that he was not the indicted Papadopoulos.
To all: I am NOT that George Papadopoulos. I am in Greece visiting my mother so today it has been kind of surreal to keep up with.— George Papadopoulos (feeonlyplanner) October 30, 2017
It didn’t work, nor did George Papadopoulos’s first line of defense, which was claiming that his mother’s culinary talents were making it difficult for him to maneuver.
I am NOT that guy! Visiting my mother in Greece now and can assure u I am getting so fat eating the dishes she makes me...so no wiggling :) https://t.co/kHn5sQQ8jE— George Papadopoulos (@feeonlyplanner) October 30, 2017
Nor did it come as a surprise, exactly. This George Papadopoulos had been expecting, dreading this moment. “The indicted George Papadopoulos was in the news sometime ago,” the Michigan George Papadopoulos wrote in an email to The Atlantic. “I always wondered if he would resurface. Oh boy, he sure did! At first I started being attacked aggressively. It is not very encouraging when you are told you are going to jail, you know.”
The Michigan George Papadopoulos’s wife had been tasked with fielding his calls and emails while he was off in Larissa dealing with his elderly mother’s affairs, but soon, Mrs. Papadopoulos could no longer hold the line.
“It has been a deluge of emails, tweets, media requests, and messages,” Michigan George Papadopoulos wrote. “I am trying to get to most of them but is not easy. I did not ask for this, I just wanted a quiet Monday. It has been anything but.”
Tuesday brought no calm either.
Someone just added me to a Twitter list titled "Trumps Cabinet". Nooooooooo! pic.twitter.com/chHxmkPJup— George Papadopoulos (@feeonlyplanner) October 31, 2017
In his email, the Michigan Papadopoulos confessed that he was “trying to make the best of it and have some fun along the way.” For instance, the situation has given him an idea for a handy mnemonic aid for some sound financial advice:
Buy low sell high = Never lie to FBI— George Papadopoulos (@feeonlyplanner) October 31, 2017
But the attention has brought mixed feelings. What if this happened, for instance?
Eagerly awaiting Trump to confuse me with his indicted George Papadopoulos and tweet me his support...— George Papadopoulos (@feeonlyplanner) October 31, 2017
But what small-town financial planner wouldn’t want this kind of attention? But what small-town financial planner would want this kind of attention?
“I gained 2,000 Twitter followers and I hope they stick around,” the Michigan Papadopoulos wrote to me on Monday night. “Everything moves so fast in social media. I am also not too fond of having my name associated with the words ‘indicted’ and ‘plead guilty.’”
On Twitter, he made a different appeal.