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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

About that other spy in the Trump campaign...

by digby

Yesterday I wrote about the Freedom Caucus' cheerleader Matt Gaetz going all over TV saying that there had been another "spy" implanted in the Trump campaign but it was all hush-hush classified and they couldn't say who it was.

This explains what he was talking about:

Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo suggested on Monday during an interview on Fox News that there may have been a second informant that approached the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. In light of these claims, The Daily Wire interviewed Caputo and the man that he claimed may have been another government informant sent to target the Trump campaign.

"Let me tell you something that I know for a fact," Caputo said on "The Ingraham Angle," with host Laura Ingraham. "This informant, this person they tried to plant into the campaign ... he’s not the only person that came at the campaign. And the FBI is not the only Obama agency that came at the campaign. I know because they came at me."

Caputo's comments were in response to the recent revelation that the FBI allegedly used a secret FBI informant to meet with Trump campaign associates and for the purpose of gathering information about any interactions they may have had with Russian officials.

On Tuesday, The Daily Wire interviewed Caputo, the alleged second informant who does contracting work with the U.S. government, and one of Caputo's friends who was an intermediary between the two men.

On May 7, 2016, Caputo's friend, Kirk Bell, attended a DC-area Kentucky Derby event at the house of his friend Nick Ikeda, a military staffer for US Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

At the event, Bell spoke with a government contractor, who asked not to be named in this report; this is the person Caputo told The Daily Wire he thought may have been another informant in light of the recent revelations about the FBI's alleged secret informant. At the event, the government contractor mentioned to Bell that he had heard about some of Hillary Clinton's missing emails and said that the campaign should see if they could obtain them.

The government contractor told The Daily Wire that the information he had heard about some of Clinton's missing emails came from a business meeting that he had while he was trying to drum up business for a private sector tech company. The missing emails came up in casual conversation with another man, in which the subject of the 2016 election was briefly mentioned. The man that the contractor met with suggested that Clinton's missing emails could contain more damaging information in them than people realized.

It was that conversation that inspired the government contractor to mention Clinton's emails to Bell.

Two days later, on May 9, 2016, Bell texted Caputo about the information the government contractor relayed to him about Clinton's missing emails.

Caputo told The Daily Wire that he never spoke to the government contractor. The government contractor also said he does not remember explicitly speaking with Caputo, although he does say that someone reached out to him but he doesn't remember who it was.

Caputo says that he did not reach out to the government contractor because he was fearful of possibly taking possession of any material that he might have which could have contained classified information.

The government contractor reached back out to Bell on July 31, 2016, and informed Bell of a Breitbart report that claimed that NSA had Clinton's emails, and suggested that the Trump campaign should look into it.

By this time Bell was reportedly a part of the Trump campaign in North Carolina and Caputo says he had departed the Trump campaign.

When asked by The Daily Wire if he was working for anyone to gather information about the Trump campaign or if anyone had approached him about gathering information on the Trump campaign, the government contractor responded: "No, absolutely not."

"I have done no work with the [Independent Special Counsel], none," the government contractor continued. "I have no contracts, not even ancillary contracts with the intelligence community. I am not connected there at all. Zero."

When asked about who the third party was that contacted him, the government contractor responded, "I don't remember who it was because it just wasn't that important to me," saying that he told whomever called him "good luck because this isn't what I do for a living."

After the interview with the government contractor, The Daily Wire interviewed Caputo and informed him of the interview with the government contractor. In discussing what the government contractor said, Caputo said, "This also could be a great big misunderstanding."

Caputo also clarified the comments that he made on Ingraham's show last night, saying that it was not his intention to suggest that the government contractor was involved in some sort of government spying like the alleged FBI source outed last week.

Caputo said that he did not understand the approach that he thought the government contractor made towards him so he informed different government committees that are conducting investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections of his contacts with the government contractor.

"[The committees] didn't check on it," Caputo said. "So I gave it to the media."

Caputo asked The Daily Wire to review text messages between Bell and the government contractor and between Bell and himself.

All three men agreed that the core details in the timeline of events were correct. The government contractor and Caputo also agreed on most of the major details in each other's stories and it appears as though there was a misunderstanding between the two men.

Caputo thought that the government contractor was coming to him with an offer but messages reviewed by The Daily Wire appear to show that the government contractor was making suggestions for the campaign rather than offering the campaign anything specific.

Jesus H. Christ. They're all as dumb as Trump.