Former Trump campaign aide meets with Senate panel in Russia probe

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo was on Capitol Hill Tuesday for a closed-door meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators as part of the panel's probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Caputo worked for the Trump campaign from November 2015 to June 2016 as a political adviser.

Last summer, Caputo testified before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session.

Speaking exclusively with ABC News upon his arrival Tuesday, Caputo once again disputed the notion the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 campaign.

"I'm looking forward to talking to the Senate committee," Caputo told ABC News. "I hope it's the last time I'm asked to talk to anyone in Congress."

"There was no Russian collusion. We didn't speak to Russians. We didn't use Russian dressing. This is a witch hunt, a fishing expedition, and I can't wait until it's over," Caputo added.

Caputo's attorney, Dennis Vacco, also downplayed his client's meeting with investigators.

"I think we know what to anticipate because we've been here before - not before this committee, but last July we were before the House committee," Vacco told ABC News. "We don't anticipate the questioning to be any different - the answers certainly won't be."

ABC News reported in July 2017 that Caputo had been contacted by the FBI, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

The source indicated it was an initial engagement meant to establish contact with Caputo.

Caputo is an associate of another notable former Trump campaign aide, Roger Stone.

Caputo and Stone met in the mid-1980s when Caputo worked at Stone's lobbying firm Black, Manafort and Stone, as Stone's driver. Later, Caputo worked in the press shop of Trump's 1988 presidential campaign, spearheaded in part by Stone. The two joined forces again, working as aides in the nascent days of Trump's 2016 run.

In the 1990s, Caputo lived in Russia while working for then-President Boris Yeltsin and the Kremlin. In 2001, he worked in the U.S. for two weeks for an energy company with ties to current Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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