The House Intelligence Committee has turned its sights on another Trump campaign advisor in its efforts to investigate Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election according to a new report by The NY Times.
Michael Caputo, a former communications adviser to the Trump campaign and close associate of Roger Stone, has been asked to undergo a voluntary interview and to submit any relevant documents that he may possess.
Caputo, who worked on the campaign from November 2015 until last June, got to know Kremlin officials when he worked in Russia during the 1990’s. He also worked for the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media in the early 2000’s. Gazprom Media is Russia’s largest media holding company and has been a strong supporter of Prtesident Vladimir Putin.
According to the Times:
A Democratic member of the panel, Representative Jackie Speier of California, raised Mr. Caputo’s name during the March 20 hearing where James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, testified on Russia’s interference in the election. She noted Mr. Caputo’s work for Gazprom, and the fact that he met his second wife, who is Ukrainian, while working in 2007 on a parliamentary election in Kiev.
The Times also reported that the Committee sent a letter to Mr. Caputo on May 9th asking for his cooperation in testifying and providing documents related to their investigation,
“including Russian cyberactivities directed against the 2016 U.S. election, potential links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns, the U.S. government’s response to these Russian active measures, and related leaks of classified information.”
Caputo has strenuously denied any collusion with Russia between himself or any other campaign members, stating in his written reply to the Committee:
“At no time during this period did I have any contact with Russian government officials or employees….The only time the president and I talked about Russia was in 2013, when he simply asked me in passing what it was like to live there in the context of a dinner conversation.”
With yet another Trump campaign staffer with ties to Russia, it almost seems as if it was a job requirement to read Cyrillic to work on the campaign.
Was Trump asking what it was like to live in Russia while envisioning a life in exile? We can only hope.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.