KARL: And, Michael, we hear the complaint that the media is obsessed with the Russia investigation, not talking about substance.
But if you look at what the president has been talking about, the president has not been out there using the bully pulpit.
MICHAEL CAPUTO, FMR. TRUMP CAMPAIGN TEAM MEMBER: Well, that’s there it’s true. And I think it all goes back to the campaign, when it became clear in August of 2016 or so that the Hillary Clinton campaign had cracked the code. They knew — they figured out how to distract the president, get him off his message, and they’ve just gotten much better at it.
Now we know from “Shattered” and other sources, this book, that this has been planned —
DOWD: About this campaign, the Hillary campaign.
CAPUTO: This had been planned as a way to stop the president’s agenda. As a cynical political operative, I really admire their effectiveness. But as a citizen of the United States, I fear for the republic.
KARL: But how does the White House get back on message? How does the president get back on message?
CAPUTO: I think they’re doing it. I think they’ve separated the crisis out into an outside unit. I think that’s extremely important. We saw that in previous presidencies that it works. We have to get the wheels rolling so that it works well but I think they’re on their way.
You know, I’ve —
KARL: I mean, it’s been extraordinary. And I know, when you were at the campaign, President, then-Candidate Trump was the kind of guy who held press conferences almost every days, did interviews constantly. Now you have this odd situation where he hasn’t had a full-blown press conference since February. The White House briefings have been reduced the a couple a week. And most of them are not even on camera.
I mean, you’re not longer advising that team, but I — I would imagine, that doesn’t play to Trump’s strengths, does it?
CAPUTO: I now advise CEOs and business leaders. I have been for many years. And I can tell you the CEOs that I talk to were very pleased with the agenda the president is pursuing on regulatory reform, for example. On energy. He’s been extremely successful on natural gas development and even talking about them overseas. The CEOs who create jobs, who —
KARL: But they’re hiding him. It’s what’s interesting, is you just don’t see the president. You don’t see his spokespeople.
CAPUTO: But that’s what they need to do. They need to start talking about this.