Who Is?
S3 E8

Who is Michael Caputo? Narrated by Sunita Mani

Michael Caputo is the former campaign advisor to Trump. And though he worked on the campaign for only six months, the time he spent on the trail was seemingly crucial in getting Trump to the White House.

Michael Caputo was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1962. His parents divorced when he was just five. Long before Caputo’s prison-bound buddy, Paul Manafort, hired him to work on said ‘shit show,’ as a campaign communications advisor for New York, Caputo was a young, self-diagnosed “juvenile delinquent.” He graduated from high school sometime in the late ‘70s, and upon graduation, his father took him to the Army enlistment center and told him, “If you come back from the service the same way you’re going in, you’re not welcome in my house.” But at 21 years old, Caputo left the Army for the University of Buffalo where he seemingly spent most of his time secretly monitoring professors for liberal bias.

He then started getting his foot in the door of Republican politics. He was mentored by Trump’s longest serving advisor, Roger Stone, and was even his personal driver for a period of time. Caputo became completely enamored with Jerry Garcia’s rival, Ronald Reagan, and ended up working for him, promoting the administration’s policies through propaganda in Central America. In 2010, he became campaign manager for controversial client Carl Paladino’s bid for Governor of New York.

This rough go of managing prepared Caputo for the wildness of the 2016 campaign when Paul Manafort hired him to help improve the relationship between the media and the Donald. For six months, Caputo took on one of the hardest tasks known to man: reshaping Trump’s image. While Caputo might have done a service to Trump, he did a disservice to the nation when he downplayed George Papadopoulos’ role in the campaign. Papadopoulos, or “the coffee boy,” has since been sentenced to two weeks in prison for lying to the FBI about his connections to Russia.

There’s no question that Caputo’s ties with Russia are strong. And he was pressed about them by the house intelligence committee behind closed doors for 4 hours where he denied any connection between the Russian government and the U.S. election. He’s recently been going through great lengths to distance himself from all of the controversy. When Caputo isn’t filling in to host a local Buffalo radio show, he’s working hard to destroy any evidence of him working for Putin— an employee of his has been blocked by Wikipedia for creating multiple accounts to change the wording of Caputo’s Putin section.