Michael Caputo, a communications adviser for many months during the Trump campaign, testified for three plus hours before the House Intelligence Committee Friday afternoon, and said in his opinion the Russia scandal comes down to two words: "collusion delusion."
"I completely believe there was no collusion in the Trump campaign, but all I can do is speak for myself and the people I'm close with," Caputo told the Washington Examiner after his testimony, characterizing the overall hearing as a "fishing expedition."
"The problem we have is the Democrats have no interest in ending these investigations. They're looking to extend this as long as possible because they're successfully stopping Donald Trump from implementing his agenda. He may have won the election, but they have won the first year of his presidency — the most important year of a presidency," he added later.
Caputo declined to detail any specific questions he faced in the testimony because he said it would harm the integrity of the investigation, adding that only four members were present.
Representative Jackie Speier, D-Calif., was not in attendance, which drew Caputo's ire in particular. In the March open hearing by the committee, the congresswoman described a "spider web" of influence from Russia, which she said included Trump associates like Roger Stone and Carter Page, and she also identified Michael Caputo by name.
"I'm a little disappointed because I wanted to see her face to face," Caputo said, claiming that after being personally named in an open hearing, he and his family received threats.
Caputo was clear in outlining that he had no knowledge of the meeting recently revealed by the emails released by Donald Trump Jr., and told a gaggle of reporters that in his several months of service to the campaign he "never once" heard Russia even mentioned.
The former Trump adviser said right after his testimony that he had not been contacted by the special counsel's investigative office, but he was eager to speak with any investigation into the Russian issues if it would help put the matter to rest.
"The rhetoric is way too high. The accusations of treason are way too damaging," Caputo told the Washington Examiner.
Among the many advisers and officials in the Trump campaign, Caputo drew interest in part because he lived in Russia for a time, married a Russian woman, and worked for Gazprom Media. His employment there has led some to claim that he was a public relations consultant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a characterization that Caputo rejects.