President Donald J. Trump on Monday appointed former campaign aide Michael Caputo as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Public Affairs. He now oversees HHS’s communications during the COVID-19 national emergency.
Two words summarize the Left’s response, via Twitter. And they’re not, “Good luck!”
“Omg this corrupt regime,” Olga Lautman blasted. “This is nuts! Mafia state.”
“Caputo should be behind bars,” Cheri Jacobus demanded. “But then, most of Trump mob should be.” (Jacobus was fired as a columnistwith The Hill and USA Today for writing on Twitter in July 2018: “are your daughters ugly like you? Or can Trump use them at the Epstein parties so they can survive when you’re broke, bitter, along [sic] and in prison for treason?”)
Caputo should be locked up only if America now jails people for merely testifying.
Caputo was a Russiagate witness. For three hours each, he addressed the House and Senate intelligence committees and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s inquest. His nine hours of testimony were closed to the public.
Investigators unsuccessfully squeezed Caputo for proof that Trump’s campaign was infested with Kremlin agents. Caputo’s former associates Paul Manafort and Roger Stone were found guilty of wrongdoing unrelated to so-called “Russian collusion.” But Caputo never was accused, indicted, or convicted of anything — neither obstruction, nor conspiracy, nor espionage. Not even jaywalking.
Russiagate proved as free of U.S. fingerprints as the Volga River. In March 2019, Mueller’s final report concluded that “the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes.”
Despite Caputo’s non-involvement in non-crimes, he racked up $205,000 in legal fees and lost clients who feared becoming ensnared in the feds’ infinite investigative net.
“Hold on!” Caputo’s enemies scream. “He’s a Russian spy. HHS = KGB!”
“Trump is installing literal agent of Russia Michael Caputo as Health and Human Services spokesman,” Eric Garland asserted. “Masks are off, peeps.”
“Caputo, who moved to Moscow in 1990s, was Putin’s image maker,” charged Alexandra Chalupa, the former DNC official who visited Ukraine’s Washington, D.C. embassy in March 2016 to ask Kiev’s diplomats to dredge dirt on Trump. Chalupa actually solicited foreign interference in U.S. elections.
The “Mikhail Kaputov” narrative is less significant than spilled Stolichnaya.
“I was sent to Russia in 1994 by the Clinton Administration to meddle in Russian elections and stayed seven years doing it,” Caputo told me. “I urge my critics to get passports and see the world.”
He helped create Rock the Vote Russia, which boosted Boris Yeltsin as the former Soviet Union’s first post-Communist president. Caputo then advised Yeltsin’s administration on election reform through the U.S. Agency for International Development.
In 2001, Caputo spent a month working with Gazprom Media, a private company, to help its CEO, Alfred Kokh, coordinate media meetings in Washington, D.C. US-Russian relations were warmer then. Whatever warmth Kokh and Putin enjoyed iced over. Caputo’s former client fled Putin and now is exiled in Germany.
Caputo enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1980 to 1983. Relevant to his new position, he served the 25th Infantry Division as a Public Affairs Specialist, based at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, with annual, three-month deployments in South Korea. He has performed on-the-ground communications work on behalf of disaster victims in every major U.S. hurricane, from Katrina onward, including two full months on site after Hurricane Maria trashed Puerto Rico.
America is the land of second chances. And this intelligent, diligent movement conservative — who has been my friend, colleague, and fellow activist since CPAC 1985 — deserves his second chance. Of course, today’s vicious Left disagrees. People like Caputo never leave their crosshairs.
Michael Caputo is a patriot and a professional who will serve with distinction President Trump and the American people. The relentlessly vindictive Left should allow this man to do his job.
In short: Let Caputo be Caputo.