Politics

Trump Campaign Adviser: Papadopoulos Was ‘Coffee Boy’ Who ‘Never Had a Role’ in Campaign

Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo said Tuesday that Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos was a "coffee boy" at best and "never had a role" in the Trump campaign or presidency.

CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Caputo whether he was previously aware of Papadopoulos bringing attention to emails he received from Russians and pressuring the Trump campaign to take meetings that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort did not agree with.

Despite Caputo being close with Manafort, he said he learned about the charge against Papadopoulos and his role in special council Robert Mueller's investigation like the rest of America.

"I never hear of Papadopoulos, he never showed up at Trump Tower, never had any interaction with any of the campaign leaders around me," Caputo said. "And the leaders of the Washington office of the campaign didn't even know who he was until his name appeared in the press."

Caputo said some people may refer to Papadopoulos as a foreign policy analyst, but he was essentially the "coffee boy."

"If he was going to wear a wire, all we'd know now know was whether he prefers a caramel machiatto over a regular American coffee in conversations with his barista," Caputo said. "He had nothing to do with the campaign, and all this contact with alleged Russians is something completely beyond the scope of his volunteer duties."

Cuomo pushed back on Caputo's characterization, and brought up a picture of Papadopoulos sitting with President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a meeting. He mentioned that the aide was able to earn the ear of Manafort.

Caputo said Manafort had to take Papadopoulos' emails seriously because "if the Russians were trying to get into the campaign through this low-level volunteer staffer," then he would be there to push back.

"Unfortunately for those who really want to see the president go down for this, the wire tap possibility for George Papadopoulos is laughable, at best, because all you're going to get is tapes of him and his barista talk about what's for coffee," Caputo said.

The "New Day" host, however, wondered why Mueller would invest the time and cooperation agreement with someone who was apparently "meaningless."

"If you don't have anything else, you work with what you got," Caputo said of Mueller's interest in Papadopoulos.

Cuomo said that with all the evidence, it seems Papadopoulos was "certainly" part of the Trump campaign.

"I push back on that completely," Caputo said. "I never heard of Papadopoulos until his name was in the media; I never saw him at the Trump campaign. He had no role at all in the campaign. He had one meeting with the president. And if photos with the president are proof of some sort of collusion, there are 500,000 photos for you to look at through the campaign."

Cuomo played an audio clip of Trump during the campaign naming Papadopoulos and saying he was an "excellent guy." Caputo downplayed any significant connection, claiming Trump read from a list that had the volunteer's name and position spelled out for him.

"Chris, here's the point," Caputo said. "The whole entire team of foreign policy analysts that was put together by the Washington office of the Trump campaign, never met again after that pro forma meeting with the president … It never met again, the guy never landed on the campaign, he never had a role, he never got paid, he was never a staffer."