Former Trump Adviser Defends Attacks On Mueller Probe: ‘We’re In The Game’

Michael R. Caputo, a Republican political strategist and media consultant, enjoys a cup of coffee as he prepares for his testimony before the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of ... Michael R. Caputo, a Republican political strategist and media consultant, enjoys a cup of coffee as he prepares for his testimony before the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, at the home of a long-time friend in McLean, Virginia on Friday, July 14, 2017. Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP - NO WIRE SERVICE - Photo by: Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images MORE LESS
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December 18, 2017 9:51 a.m.

Former Trump campaign staffer Michael Caputo said Monday that Republicans’ attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller — which have risen in some cases to calling for a “cleansing” of opponents of the President from the FBI — was just part of the political game.

In an interview on CNN, “New Day”s Chris Cuomo asked Caputo if he wasn’t “a little concerned that this heavy-handed offensive against the FBI and Mueller could come back to bite you guys.”

“Are you worried about playing politics in a situation that could be problematic?” he asked, noting “we are apparently nowhere in figuring out” how to prevent future election interference by foreign powers.

“I don’t see any difference between today and what happened during the Ken Starr investigation during the Clinton administration,” Caputo said. “This is pretty normal politics as usual. We all are up in arms on a daily basis now in life, television, [the] 24/7 news cycle, but this is the way it goes in special investigations.”

“I thought you guys were going to be better,” Cuomo interrupted.

“We’re in the game. It’s baseball. We’ve got to play baseball, we can’t go in there and start playing chess,” Caputo replied.

He added: “The biggest problem the FBI — not the FBI, but the special counsel — has is the public perception of what’s going on inside there right now.”

He was referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s removal of Peter Strzok, a former member of the special counsel’s team, who was revealed to have sent text messages critical of Trump (and of other, Democratic politicians) to an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page.

Caputo called the texts “declarations of membership in the resistance.” Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News host and informal adviser to Trump, said in a representative monologue on Dec. 9: “There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and our Department of Justice.”

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