Former Trump advisor Michael R. Caputo told TMN he posted controversial tweet to celebrate Lewandowski's departure.
WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Former senior Donald Trump advisor Michael Caputo said fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski withheld pay for employees during his tenure with the presumptive Republican nominee.
“[Lewandowski] withheld pay for dozens of employees; I’m just one,” Caputo told TMN in an exclusive interview.
Caputo left the campaign after tweeting “Ding dong the witch is dead”, a move Caputo attributed to being happy to see Lewandowski go, but not specifically in response to the alleged withheld payments.
“I was celebrating change,” Caputo said.
Lewandowski could not be reached for comment.
Caputo, 54, of Buffalo, New York, is a former WBEN radio host who served as Trump’s director of Communications for Caucus Operations as well as the campaign’s Campaign Director for New York state. He was en-route to Cleveland when he posted the tweet.
— Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) June 20, 2016
He resigned last Monday and apologized to Lewandowski a short time later.
“I think Mr. Trump and [Campaign Chair] Paul Manafort wanted a clean commitment and I had muddied that up,” Caputo said when asked to more thoroughly explain his abrupt departure. “It was important for me to get out of the way immediately.”
Caputo, who founded Michael Caputo Public Relations, Inc. in 2003, said Lewandowski’s departure not only reinvigorated Trump’s campaign, but should have taken place earlier.
“I thought that it signaled a whole new phase of the campaign which was, you know; a bit overdue,” Caputo said.
Caputo pointed to the March incident in which Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields accused Lewandowski of assault.
Although Caputo acknowledged he believed it was blown out of proportion by both Fields as well as numerous media outlets, he also said Lewandowski’s behavior with the reporter was inexcusable.
“I thought it showed a lack of judgment,” Caputo said. “You don’t touch reporters, ever!”
Caputo expressed optimism in Trump’s post-Lewandowski political operation, predicting that with Manafort’s help, the real estate mogul is likely to win the presidency.
“I absolutely think [that Trump will win]” Caputo said. “In fact, I think it’s likely as long as he gets the campaign that he deserves and I think he will with Paul Manafort to help. He’s tapped into an important mane of support, not just in the Republican Party; but in the Democrat Party.”
Caputo dismissed recent polls showing Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, saying modern pollsters have never assessed a populist candidate like Trump and are unable to accurately gauge his popularity.
“Everybody’s scrambling to get their polling model right,” Caputo said. “But very few of them can factor in the non-Republican support of Donald Trump.”
Caputo also dismissed the conventional wisdom that Trump will perform poorly among Hispanic voters, noting that polls reaffirming that premise are misleading.
“You’d be very surprised what some deep plum polling is showing about Hispanic voters,” Caputo said. “The way I see it Hispanic voters will move toward Donald Trump and are far more likely to move toward Donald Trump than, lets say, African Americans.”