House lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 campaign want to speak with a member of President Trump's campaign team, according to a new report.
The congressional intelligence panel has asked Michael Caputo, a communications adviser for the presidential campaign, to submit to an interview as part of the investigation.
"The House Intelligence Committee, which is examining possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, made its request in a letter on May 9," according to the New York Times, which reported the request on Saturday. "Mr. Caputo, who lives near Buffalo and spent six months on the Trump team, worked in Russia during the 1990s and came to know Kremlin officials. He also did work in the early 2000s for Gazprom Media, a Russian conglomerate that supported President Vladimir V. Putin."
Caputo has agreed to the interview and denied any contact with Russian officials. "At no time during this period did I have any contact with Russian government officials or employees," he wrote to the committee.
Russian interference in the election has consumed the early days of the Trump administration. Trump fired his national security adviser, Mike Flynn, in January for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with a Russian diplomat during the transition period. On May 9, he dismissed FBI Director James Comey — a decision initially portrayed as a response to Comey's violation of Justice Department procedures during the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Simultaneously, Trump's team has floundered through a parade of leaks, ranging from various internal conversations pertaining to the Russians to releases of transcripts of the president's phone calls with foreign leaders. Most recently, administration officials revealed that Trump talked about firing Comey in a meeting the next day with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "[Comey] was crazy, a real nut job," Trump said, according to the leak. "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."
But Trump's team is taking refuge in the growing number of admissions that no evidence of a conspiracy between his campaign and Russia has been found. "There are all kinds of rumors around," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in an interview highlighted by the White House. "There are newspaper stories, but that's not necessarily evidence."