WASHINGTON D.C. (WKBW) - One Western New York political strategist and conservative talk-show host found his way into a US House hearing on Russia's influence on the U.S. presidential election.
Michael Caputo, who lives in East Aurora, was a part of the Trump campaign, before resigning over a controversial tweet about the firing of then Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Caputo's role with the Trump Administration was brought up by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a Democratic representative from California.
"[Caputo] is a PR professional, conservative radio talk show host," Speier said during her questioning of FBI director James Comes and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. "In 1994, he moved to Russia, and there was working for the Agency for International Development. He was fired from that job because he refused to follow a State Department position, then opened a PR firm in Moscow and married a Russian woman. He subsequently divorced her and in 1999 his business failed."
"Roger Stone," Speier continued, "a mentor to him, urged him to Florida and open his PR firm in Miami, which is exactly what Mr. Caputo did. And then in 2000, he worked with Gazprom Media to improve Putin's image in the United States."
"Now, do we know who Gazprom Media is," Spier asked.
After director Comey indicated he didn't, Spier responded, "It's, a, um, oil company. In 2007, he began consulting the Ukranian Parliamentary campaign. There he met his second wife. So, I guess my question is, what possible reason is there for the Trump campaign to hire Putin's image consultant? Any thoughts on that, director?"
Comey responded, "No thoughts."
Admiral Rogers responded, "Likewise."
Both Comey and Rogers also indicated they didn't know what Caputo is doing for the Trump effort today.
Caputo declined an interview with 7 Eyewitness News Monday, but sent the following tweet:
Caputo also sarcastically tweeting to supporters and critics:
I can't take the pressure anymore. I confess! I've hidden the proof in my fridge! pic.twitter.com/JvUSaG71Fi— That Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) March 20, 2017
Two major pieces of news did come out of today's hearing: The FBI is investigating possible Russian meddling in the U.S. Presidential, and the FBI says there's no evidence that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.