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NBC: Trump Fan Tied To Yovanovitch Surveillance Scheme Pretended To Be DEA Officer

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Several people told NBC News that de Caluwe, who provided the updates of Yovanovitch’s supposed locations that American landscaper Robert Hyde had sent to Parnas, introduced himself to them as law enforcement at the DEA or sometimes the CIA or FBI.

Hyde said de Caluwe had told him he did “drug ops in South America” as a DEA officer, and apparently that was a fairly frequent disguise for the Dutch man.

“He said he was with the DEA and all that, law enforcement,” said Leland McKee, a fellow fan of President Donald Trump who met de Caluwe in 2018.

McKee also said that de Caluwe was “trying to solicit money from anyone he could get money from, and I knew there was something not quite right.”

Three other unnamed people who were acquainted with de Caluwe recounted that he claimed he investigated drug rings in El Salvador and other Latin American countries.

A spokesperson for de Caluwe would not tell NBC News whether her client had actually worked for the DEA, only that he “did work in El Salvador.”

DEA spokesperson Katherine Pfaff told TPM, “We can confirm that this individual was not a DEA agent.”

The FBI declined to comment.

The impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump exposed de Caluwe and Hyde as players in Parnas’ and Rudy Giuliani’s smear campaign against Yovanovitch. Hyde sent Parnas several texts informing him of Yovanovitch’s supposed movements, which Hyde had received from de Caluwe.

Parnas has claimed he did not take Hyde seriously, and de Caluwe told NBC News he had “no connection” to Ukraine despite having a romantic relationship with a Ukrainian woman.

About The Author

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Cristina Cabrera is a newswriter at TPM based in New York. She previously worked for Vocativ, USA Today and New York 1 News. She received her B.A at NYU. You can reach her at cristina@talkingpointsmemo.com