Many eyes are expected to be on the Senate’s impeachment trial when it starts Tuesday. Robert Hyde said his won’t be among them.
“It’s a hoax. I mean it’s all hearsay right,” said Hyde.
The Simsbury man’s name was included in a trove of messages related to the Ukraine scandal released by House Democrats last week. In them, Hyde appeared to send updates on ex-US ambassador Marie Yovanovitch to an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The 40-year-old explained that the donations he made to Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign bought him entry into the DC circle. He said he hoped to network his way into a consulting job, which he did, meeting the likes of Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani.
“Down there people know how to use you,” he said. “Mostly when you’re there everybody just plays you like an asset cause you have no clue.”
Hyde claimed he was traveling through South America when he received a request from another DC acquaintance, Anthony de Caluwe, asking him to forward messages to Parnas.
“I had his contact info so I did it,” said Parnas. “I’m just that kind of guy. I go out of my way for people. It wasn’t about tracking. I didn’t know what it was about.”
House Democrats released the encrypted messages last week, as further proof that the Trump Administration actively tried to remove Yovanovich from her post to get Ukraine to investigate the former Vice President Joe Biden.
Hyde: “She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Her computer is off.”
Hyde: “We have a person inside.” ”They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.” “Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money ... is what I was told.”
“I don’t know how I know that. It was just given, it was copy and pasted from Anthony. It’s not me,” said Hyde.
De Caluwe admitted to sending the messages to Hyde but insisted there was no actual monitoring.
Hyde said he didn’t have a good recollection of his communication with Parnas.
“Honestly, I don’t,” he said. “Back then I used to party a lot, before I was running for Congress I used to go out socially five out of seven nights a week.”
Parnas was charged with funneling foreign money to U.S. political candidates and campaigns and has pled not guilty. Parnas has said Trump was aware of the Ukraine effort.
"These allegations are being made by a man who is currently out on bail for federal crimes and is desperate to reduce his exposure to prison," Grisham said.
Hyde said he was surprised to hear his name on national news after the messages were released.
“I’m like, are you kidding me? I have nothing to do with this garbage,” said Hyde. “I thought it was a joke. I’ll send that to Lev. So, I copied and pasted it. I didn’t know what was going on.”
Hyde showed NBC Connecticut his phone and messages to Parnas. He said the conversation that’s at the center of the impeachment inquiry has disappeared, but Hyde said he didn’t delete them.
“I know there’s way more to that conversation,” said Hyde. “I would like Adam Schiff to produce whoever was telling me that information, right? From Anthony de Caluwe, who I barely knew too. So I would like see that conversation, because I don’t have that conversation at all on my phone.”
When asked what he thought it would prove, Hyde said: “I don’t know because I was copying and pasting. I don’t know because I don’t have it, but Adam Schiff seems to have it.”
When asked if he thought President Trump was aware of the conversations he had with Parnas Hyde answered, “Absolutely not. No way. Why would the President risk anything with that guy? He’s a huge conman.”
Hyde said the FBI showed up at his house last Thursday and that he spoke with them Sunday. He said he isn’t worried about being investigated.
“Actually, I welcome it,” said Hyde.
Connecticut’s GOP Chairman JR Romano has asked Hyde to end his campaign, calling him a distraction. Hyde said he has no intention of doing that.
“I’m on national news,” said Hyde. “Now people are donating. I’m not asking for donations. They’re trickling in.”
He said he’s running to bring jobs back to Connecticut.
“I want to be helpful to the President and the “Make America Great Again” agenda in D.C. and help secure the border,” said Hyde. “I feel bad for all of my fellow Americans who have worked hard for the American dream. You look at how things go through economies and what local politicians and national politicians are doing to our state and I think everybody takes their eyes off of, ya the Democrats are fighting Trump on his agenda, the America First agenda, but they’re also sneaking people through the back door and using the system for any benefit they can. Now our state is taxed, overwhelmed.”
Hyde said he believes Trump would endorse is congressional campaign but has not asked him and has no intention to.