For the past week, former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo has been telling anyone who’ll listen that he was approached in May 2016 by a former government contractor who offered to help him obtain Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.
Caputo said the former contractor told him through an intermediary friend that a certain government agency had the missing Hillary Clinton-related emails and some whistleblowers wanted to get them to the Trump campaign. The former adviser said that he and his friend and the contractor texted back and forth for several days, but nothing came of it because he was afraid the emails were classified. Caputo said he told his friend to urge the people at the agency to go through a proper whistleblower process to release the emails, rather than try to give them to the Trump campaign.
Now, he has added to the story, saying that the agency in question was the National Security Agency and that he was approached by another individual “dangling” something in front of him at the end of May 2016.
Caputo told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Wednesday evening that it wasn’t until he heard about the government informants latching onto the Trump campaign that a light bulb went off in his head.
And curiously, when he told the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and Mueller’s investigators about the first incident, he said, “they didn’t seem the least bit interested.”
Caputo didn’t feel at liberty to talk about the second incident in detail because Mueller’s team was keenly interested in that when they questioned him two weeks ago.
“There’s another approach to me that was done in late May or the last half of May by somebody who I believe was organized by the investigators,” he told Carlson. “I can’t talk about it on television because I think the Mueller team wanted to talk about it a lot — so much … that they sounded like the authors of it,” he said.
The anonymous government contractor denied having ever contracted for an intelligence agency in interviews with Fox News and CNN. And he downplayed the conversations about Clinton’s emails as “cocktail party talk about where to go do opposition research.”
The individual claimed to have gotten the information in question after meeting with an NSA contractor who shared information about a purported email depicting ‘pay-for-play’ between the Clinton Global Initiative and State Department.
The individual stressed that they are not connected with any of the intelligence agencies and were not trying to reach out to the Trump campaign on behalf of any agency, but rather passing along unconfirmed information about the Clinton campaign they thought should be pursued.
The intermediary, meanwhile, confirmed being approached at a Washington party and being urged to “go after the Hillary emails.” Fox News has reviewed texts among the three individuals, which include allegations of emails showing ‘pay-for-play.’
“I made no offer. I did not entice these people. I just made a cocktail party statement that is now conflated into ‘I am a spy,'” the contractor told CNN.
Caputo has conceded that this “could be a great big misunderstanding” and Fox News reporter Jake Gibson — who has read the text messages between the three — noted that “it is possible the discussions concerned suggestions for pursuing emails as opposed to a more direct offer.”
Nonetheless, Caputo told Carlson that he would like to tell the DOJ inspector general about both of the incidents.
“I want to talk about both of them,” he said. “The one I talked about in public — the former national security government contractor who came to me through an intermediary in the first week of May and this other approach that happened in the last half of May .
Caputo said his attorney was writing a letter to the Office of the Inspector General asking to be invited to testify about the incidents. He also made an offer to any FBI agents who might want to testify to the IG about what they know about “Spygate.”
“You see these FBI agents that want to go in as well,” he told Tucker at the end of the interview. “They’re asking for subpoenas so they can go and talk to the IG about what they saw sitting in the offices of the FBI. There are a lot of great men and women who are line agents at the FBI who want to talk and I want them to know if they’re watching, they don’t have to wait for a subpoena — because those legal fees are really expensive,” he said. “Our legal fund at Caputolegalfund.com — we’ll pay their legal fees if they go to the inspector general…. We’ll pay their legal fees.”
On Thursday, officials at the FBI and DOJ will brief both Republicans and Democrats on reports that a government informant talked to members of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The second meeting is a reversal from the original plan brokered by the White House, which excluded Democrats. Kelly and Rosenstein were also added to the roster.
BREAKING- tomorrow’s classified meeting on “spygate” is on. here’s who is going 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/U5neYvuh0E
— kelly cohen (@ByKellyCohen) May 24, 2018