The professor believe to be the missing link between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives went regularly to Russia to promote education, his former employer Nabil Ayad told the Times of Malta today.
"He knew a number of top Russian officials because of these contacts. He has been involved in education for a considerable time. However, I am sure that there was nothing sinister about his contacts and that he may have naively been drawn into this affair," Prof. Ayad said.
"He was not working for any government - except for his work in Malta in the past."
Prof. Ayad joined the University of East Anglia - London Campus in 2010, and established the London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD). Prof. Mifsud was a director at the academy. However, the school closed a year ago as its parent, the University of East Anglia, decided to pull out of London.
He is now employed with the University of Stirling, which told the Times of Malta that Prof. Mifsud has been a full-time professorial teaching fellow in the University’s Politics department since May 2017.
Documents were turned over to the White House on Monday, with an e-mail identifying Prof. Mifsud as the London-based professor who allegedly offered to put Trump campaigner George Papadopoulos in touch with influential Russians who could tarnish Hillary Clinton in the run up to the American election.
The Washington Post said that Mr Papadopoulos met Prof. Mifsud in Italy in March 2016, days after he joined the Trump campaign.
Prof. Ayad said that Prof.Mifsud was, to the best of his knowledge, in Rome and that he was planning to return to Malta in a couple of days.
Attempts to contact Prof. Mifsud have so far been in vain.