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Steve Bannon has told associates that George Papadopoulos is a "nobody" whom he's never met. Many top figures on the campaign genuinely had no idea who he was. Some White House officials had to resort to Google when the news broke this morning that this former volunteer foreign policy adviser on the campaign, Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia during the campaign.

Our thought bubble: Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were clearly important figures in the Trump campaign, but Papadopoulos didn't feature prominently and was paid little attention by Trump or other senior advisers. Trump did mention Papadopoulos by name in a meeting with the Washington Post, but he was boasting about a foreign policy team that was hastily assembled, inexperienced and to which he paid almost no attention. None of this exonerates Papadopoulos, though, and it's clear some of his superiors knew about some of his efforts because he prodded them.

A former campaign official told me shortly after the news broke:

"To be honest... I thought they were talking about George Gigicos (advance man on campaign) ... not because he could've possibly been involved with Russia but because he's the only guy with a Greek name that anyone knew on the campaign."

J.D. Gordon, who supervised Papadopoulos in his capacity as a Trump campaign national security adviser, said he was "surprised to learn today what George Papadopoulos was up to during the campaign.

"[Papadopoulos] obviously went to great lengths to go around me and Senator Sessions," Gordon told me in a text message.

"Presidential campaigns are like that," Gordon continued. "Very hard to know what every single person is doing, especially since some folks deliberately go around the chain of command or circumvent it."

"George Papadopoulos obviously represents an extreme case."

Go deeper

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.