Ex-Trump aide: Panel probing Russia sounding ‘more and more like McCarthy’
A former adviser to President Trump’s campaign says a congressional probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign increasingly resembles former Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s infamous hunt for communists in the U.S. government.
The accusations by Michael Caputo came little more than a week after congressional investigators on the House Intelligence Committee interviewed him as part of their ongoing probe of possible collusion between Trump campaign’s and Russia.
“If you look at the history books and you watch how those hearings were held, you know, holding up lists of names and such like this — that’s where they’re at,” Caputo told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday on New York’s AM 970.
Caputo said his interview with lawmakers, which took place behind closed doors on July 14, hearkened back to 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, in which the Wisconsin Republican accused the U.S. Army of being “soft” on communism.
“In fact, most of the time — much of the time, not most, much of the time — in the hearings, I spent answering questions as to whether I know this person or that person,” he added. “And it sounded more and more and more like McCarthy every question along the way.”
The Army hearings ultimately resulted in the dismissal of McCarthy’s allegations, as well as his political downfall.
Caputo has sparred with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), one of the lawmakers on the intelligence panel, who once accused him of being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “image consultant.”
The former campaign adviser previously worked for the U.S. government in Russia, before taking a job with the media arm of Gazprom, a Russian state-owned energy conglomerate.
Caputo’s feud with Speier continued last week, after the California Democrat suggested that Caputo may have lied under oath when he spoke to the committee. Caputo has rejected that notion and called for the transcript of the testimony to be released.
He has joined other Trump campaign aides in denying any improper contacts with Russia, and has said the Russia investigations are politically motivated.
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