EXCLUSIVE: Trump Campaign Aide Apologizes To Papadopoulos For ‘Coffee Boy’ Jab
- Michael Caputo is apologizing for calling George Papadopoulos a “coffee boy”
- Caputo wrote in an open letter to Papadopoulos and the former Trump campaign aide’s wife
- “Calling George a ‘coffee boy’ on national television was uncalled for,” he wrote
Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo is apologizing for calling George Papadopoulos a “coffee boy.”
“Calling George a ‘coffee boy’ on national television was uncalled for and surely hurt you both even more after our country failed you,” Caputo wrote Friday in an open letter to Papadopoulos and the former Trump campaign aide’s wife, Simona Mangiante. “I hope history quotes my heartfelt apology along with those two harsh words I regret today. I’m sorry for making this terrible chapter in our nation’s history even worse for you and your family.”
Caputo, who served on President Donald Trump’s campaign until June 2016, made the “coffee boy” remark in an interview on Oct. 31, just after Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with a Maltese professor and two Russian nationals. (RELATED: Caputo Opens Legal Fund To Trump Aides Ensnared In Russia Probe)
“He was the coffee boy,” Caputo said in an interview on CNN. “You might have called him a foreign policy analyst, but if he was going to wear a wire, all we would have known now is whether he prefers a caramel macchiato over a regular American coffee in conversations with his barista.” (RELATED: A London Meeting Before The Election Aroused George Papadopoulos’s Suspicions)
Caputo joined the White House and numerous other Trump backers in downplaying Papadopoulos’s role on the campaign, seemingly as a way to put distance between the young adviser’s activities on the campaign and Trump.
That characterization was somewhat off base given that Papadopoulos did make some substantive contributions to the campaign. He helped arrange a meeting in September 2016 between Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the United Nations General Assembly.
Papadopoulos, 30, admitted to lying to FBI agents during a Jan. 26, 2017 interview about the timeline of his interactions with a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud and two of his Russian associates. Mifsud told Papadopoulos on April 26, 2016 that he had learned from Russian government officials that the Kremlin had “dirt” on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails.
Papadopoulos’s conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer two weeks later is said to have been the catalyst for the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Mangiante, Papadopoulos’s wife, responded aggressively to Caputo’s remarks, suggesting in some interviews that Papadopoulos had information that could undercut the White House.
“He never took any initiative, as far as I know, [that was] unauthorized. All the initiatives had [the] blessing of the campaign,” Mangiante told ABC News on Dec. 8.
Mangiante said in a Jan. 22 interview: “I believe history will remember [Papadopoulos] like John Dean,” a reference to the Nixon White House counsel who exposed part of the Watergate coverup.
Sources familiar with Papadopoulos’s private remarks have told The Daily Caller News Foundation he has told people close to him that he was not involved in any collusion and did not see, handle or disseminate emails stolen by Russians. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: In Private, Trump Aide George Papadopoulos Denies Collusion)
Caputo said his assessment of Papadopoulos has changed in the wake of revelations that an FBI informant spied on Papadopoulos during the campaign.
“Knowing much more today about how an FBI informant lied to you, set you up and abused you, I know I owe you an apology,” Caputo wrote in his letter.
The informant is Stefan Halper, a former Cambridge professor who lured Papadopoulos to London in September 2016 while serving as an informant for the FBI and CIA. Halper also made contact with two other Trump advisers, Carter Page and Sam Clovis. (RELATED: FBI Informant Stefan Halper Made ‘False’ And ‘Absurd’ Allegations About Russian Infiltration)
“We all make mistakes, and I guess you made a few. I’ve made my own, including not waiting to hear the truth about what the spy Stefan Halper did to you before I opened my big mouth and insulted you to all the world,” wrote Caputo, who called the entire spy operation “sick.”
Read Caputo’s letter in full:
Dear George and Simona:
Knowing much more today about how an FBI lied to you, set you up and abused you, I know I owe you an apology. Calling George a “coffee boy” on national television was uncalled for and surely hurt you both even more after our country failed you.
They wanted to stop President Trump at all costs, and you were expendable. That’s sick.
We all make mistakes, and I guess you made a few. I’ve made my own, including not waiting to hear the truth about what the spy Stefan Halper did to you before I opened my big mouth and insulted you to all the world.
I hope history quotes my heartfelt apology along with those two harsh words I regret today. I’m sorry for making this terrible chapter in our nation’s history even worse for you and your family.
Michael R. Caputo
East Aurora, NY
May 25, 2018