The health department’s top spokesperson Michael Caputo called an emergency staff meeting on Tuesday to apologize for drawing negative attention to the Trump administration’s health care strategy and signaled that he might be soon departing his role, according to five people with knowledge of the meeting.
The departure of Caputo, who has closely controlled the health agencies’ dissemination of information about coronavirus, would be a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to promote a possible vaccine, if one is approved in the fall.
Andrew Weissmann, one of the lead prosecutors on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the architect of the case against Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, said there is “definitely new information” in the final volume of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on 2016 Russian interference released Tuesday.Why it matters: It underscores the degree to which the 996-page report goes further than the Mueller investigation in some of its findings, as well as the explosive nature of some of the revelations about Manafort and other top Trump campaign officials.
What’s new: The bipartisan Senate report describes Manafort’s right-hand man Konstantin Kilimnik as a Russian intelligence officer. “That is much further than he was described publicly by the special counsel’s office,” Weissmann points out.
The committee, like Mueller, found that Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates passed sensitive internal campaign data and strategy to Kilimnik, but it could not determine with whom Kilimnik went on to share it or why he shared it.
The report also found that there was some evidence to suggest that Kilimnik was involved in the Russian operation to hack and leak Democratic emails — which Weissmann described as “substantial new information.” The section detailing that evidence is largely redacted.
Weissmann went on to note that the Senate report assesses that then-candidate Trump spoke with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks’ plans to release damaging information about Hillary Clinton on “multiple occasions” — despite Trump’s claims in written answers to Mueller that he “did not recall” discussing the topic with Stone.