Michael Caputo - Monday morning on CNN's New Day

WBEN Extras
Monday, July 17th

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President John defends his son as new details surface about that meeting at trump tower with a Russian lawyer and her associates. One former truck campaign official Michael could put up testified on Friday for the House Intelligence Committee about what he knows and the president praised him. And treat saying thank you to former campaign advisor Michael Capuano for saying so powerfully that there was no Russian collusion in our winning campaign. Former champ campaign director Michael but I joins us now than Michael. Good morning how are you I'm doing well see you testified for four hours in behind closed doors of house until committee. On can you tell us what they wanted to know and what you told them. Or would seem to me in a lot of ways and I think Mario attorney who's a veteran prosecutor. That this is a fishing expedition to some degree and there are some are very directed very or well researched questions and they asked me a lot. About individuals going through name after name after name they also asked me about 67 years I lived in Russia in the 1990s. Which to me was. Rather historical discussion and really had nothing to do what Donald Trump but I think they were looking for the context that I brought to the campaign and and I was hoping that are successful and are clearing up the matter. Well I think successful certainly in grip being and holding their attention because congressman Denny had. Said of your appearance outside that Paula be most fascinating three hours of time I have spent in my nearly five years in the United States House of Representatives. What was he referring to low ball. Also Atlantic. Well I am also fun to go have a beer with but at the same time there is no Russian collusion I think it's a delusion and and I think while we had a nice discussion and by the way you know this and intimidating thing I spent my time in and the house represented is coordinating. Television coverage of committee hearings I've been to an end coordinated coverage of more than a hundred of them and you still don't know what you're gonna get into when you get behind closed doors yeah. With the House Intelligence Committee. It does seem like a pretty partisan operation before I walked in there but every single member who was present including minority leader Adam Schiff. We're very polite to me a very direct and and very. You know you know. Fourth and forthright with their question now. But I didn't have. Any notice it was highly partisan. If I say you came away believing that it's fair that's very good for us to know you resigned eleven. Days after. What we now know took place in there with this Don junior Paul met for a Turkish and meeting with this Russian. Attorney and her associates did you know about that meeting. No I did not in and the senate after I left the campaign I headquarters to go to work at the convention on Iraq on or about like June 1. I was went into a silo and into a command structure I reported to the campaign through the director of caucus operations at the convention. And it wouldn't be unusual for me not to hear about this kind of meeting. Had you ever heard of to tell you. Vessel in the sky. But I've I've never heard of mr. Basil leaves Qaeda hide I've talked of people that I know trying to figure out who she is not none of them heard of her. I don't think that she's a Kremlin operative like they're saying. But because she's someone who might never heard of until. She was revealed in the media. Swing you had worked in the campaign John junior had come to you knowing your. Work in Russia and said hey I just got this email. From a Powell who says that this comes from the highest levels of the Russian government and that they have some dirt. I Hillary Clinton that they'd like to give us what would you have told him to do. I would've said in a kick it upstairs ticket to the attorneys ticket to. Though opposition research department to see if this is an appropriate arena worthwhile. Needing you know you don't want those kinds of meetings to even company anywhere close. To the president or or to the president's family I mean any opposition research meetings when they come no matter where they come from. You know as an experience campaign operative I might have seen a red flag but at the same time you have to understand that. The members of the family of the first time that this the first time president trump ever ran for office yeah his kids were unfamiliar with it and I can see how. Don junior might make a mistake and I appreciated his candor after that of this stuff is broken that broke again and broke again and it and and a TV interview yeah brace and it's something if he had not you know could do it over again he would do it differently I respect that. I hear you did Don junior and his family our political neophyte sheath we all understand that upon metaphor isn't. Why I was on metaphors that mean. Right. Well tell you I know call for thirty years I also know that's hard. He was getting upwards of 500 email messages a day he'd you know bald they're probably did not written read all the way down several inches into the string of an email. He received a meeting request from the president's son. And his job at that moment was to say yes and to go. But you know the meeting didn't last long I think the remembers him of people were attending a realize. They're the context of the meeting him and ended a pretty quickly. Do you know the lobbyists. Who was in that. Meaning you know the name I think that I think that this is the right now amber not act mention. And I don't know him I've not heard of him but there are a lot of are Russian the Russian Americans who work in Washington. Some of the highest levels of our government some with the highest levels of security clearance. And also lobbyists who work on the on the margins of the government. It's not unusual to me that someone like him would have been in the Washington orbit. I'd say it seems a little odd that he'd be in that meeting but I was vessel needs I was looking for a friend to take and I guess he took. I understand from some of the media reports he was wearing jeans and T shirt so I don't think he was expecting to be there either. Then you're experience working in Russia for his many years as you didn't even coming into contact with Vladimir Putin is it now your impression that. Vladimir Putin was looking to. Somehow. Compromise or co opt or play. The trump campaign. I think the Russian government. But it looks to get involved in elections for every single one of the country's. In this united nations Security Council at least and probably many many more. Our country does the same it's important to note that in 1994. My government the Clinton administration. Set leader Russia to get involved in their elections so he and his. And I say this I carry this laudable so if you think they US. Is the same as Russia you put those on an even par in terms of election battle. I don't know continued in part because I'm not quite sure of what we do I don't know if we hacker or fishy emails I'm not quite sure we do. To get involved and what I know that. Direct involvement now as sending advisors to go in and work on partisan elections. All around the world. In all the we sought Bob President Obama sent a team over to the Israeli election to tip that. In favor of his favorite candidate so it may be different I'm not sure we're on par. But we both get involved in foreign election and our own way. To try to tell them in our favor and dissent there as it adds. You know but that the Democrats and that. Committees wagging their finger as if this is something that only has done by the Russians that just you know it's just that it's a dubious claim. Do you consider Russia a hostile foreign car. Of course not when I heard that on the show this morning and it raised an eyebrow in and less I woke up there and I didn't hear the news we're not a war with Russia. You know I can remember when. When Doug George W. Bush was trying to make things better with with and our relations I remember Hillary Clinton giving it a misspelled. Or are in a restart button. I took them foreign minister of the Russian Federation won in that game better relations I think Donald Trump was to have better relations with every country I think we have an opening to have stronger relations more peaceful relations. More productive relations looking at things like. I basis and other real important issues with Russia but and and I think I would have been investigating. The reason why the about this is the part of that also confused me finish up camp at. Why was it's so bad if Hillary Clinton wanted to reset the Donald Trump wants a reset and you guys approve of that. I don't I don't think it was bad and Hillary Clinton wanted to reset and I was hopeful. When she came when that red button. Unfortunately devolve what you did under George W and I think in a new administration as it comes in. That the idea that they wanna have better relationship than the previous administration. Is not unusual we have a unique opportunity here to have better relations with Russia and many other nations but this investigation. In particular. Is souring that opportunity I like to see them get to the bottom of these things as soon as. Also out as a very quickly when Republicans. In congress. Lindsey Graham John McCain say they're rushing is an adversary. You think if they're wrong. Absolutely I'm on the other side of Lindsey Graham and and John McCain the best wishes to him in the hospital this week. On many issues especially foreign policy these are neo cons as we know and and I'm not I even though I spent most of my ya my youth. Working in programs like the Reagan doctrine fighting the Soviet union's goals in central American and in Asia and other places. I see a unique opportunity here to work with Russia. Not against Russia we're not all you know we often are are are are looking at at different priorities as nations we have a lot in common now especially the people of the United States and the people of Russia. Let's not squander this opportunity. Might look at where we appreciate you being on new day and sharing. I your take on all this thanks.