Report: Castelli put ‘party before country’ with wild behavior

Matt Castelli visits Lloyd's of Lowville while campaigning in the north country.
Matt Castelli visits Lloyd's of Lowville while campaigning in the north country.(WWNY)
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - One of the Democratic candidates running to unseat Elise Stefanik in congress put ‘party before country’ with ‘wild and raunchy workplace behavior,’ according to a published report Friday in the Daily Mail.

The report, citing anonymous former National Security Council colleagues of Matt Castelli’s, claims Castelli “was known to drink on the job, and often to collect overtime pay while doing so, and had sex with multiple of his coworkers.”

Castelli and Matt Putorti of Whitehall are seeking the Democratic nomination for NY-21, the congressional district which takes in a broad swath of northern New York, including St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, and which Stefanik now represents.

Castelli told the Daily Mail in a statement that the accusations - coming just days before Tuesday’s primary - are a political hit job.

‘Allegations of impropriety in Castelli’s professional, personal, or private conduct is clearly a political hit job from allies of Elise Stefanik because she is afraid to run against a patriot like Matt Castelli who served our country while she only serves herself,’ he said in a statement.

And another of Castelli’s former co-workers dismissed the reports.

‘I don’t know of anything that would implicate his character in the way that you’re describing,’ the other source said. ‘Matt was always known as the good-looking guy in the CT (counterterrorism) shop. Frankly, I don’t see it,” according to the Daily Mail report.

Castelli, who began at the National Security Council in 2016, where he served as counterterrorism director, and left in 2018, bragged to coworkers about sleeping with women in the prayer room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, according to the report.

One former colleague of Castelli’s told the Daily Mail Castelli “told one story where either during or after the NSC Christmas party in 2017 he took a female colleague back to the prayer room for sex.”

Castelli is alleged to have slept with at least three female colleagues, including one married woman, according to the Daily Mail article.

The Castelli campaign told 7 News Friday evening that “It’s disappointing that any outlet would continue to spread a story that is clearly politically motivated and doesn’t have a single named source other than Chris Costa, Matt’s direct supervisor, who refutes these ridiculous allegations.”

Castelli’s response in full

While Elise Stefanik attacks patriotic federal law enforcement agents at the FBI and incites insurrectionists to attack police at the Capitol, Matt Castelli protected and served his country, admirably and with distinction. But don’t take our word for it, take the word of former President Trump who wrote: “Through your 16 months of distinguished service at the NSC, you have made a significant contribution to the safety and security of our Nation. Your work has been instrumental in shaping my Administration’s strategy to counter jihadist terrorists. You have played a key role in advancing our efforts to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as well as al-Qa’ida in Syria, and in working with our European partners against threats to our safety and way of life….Thank you again for your exceptional leadership on my national security team.” (See attached)

After serving in the CIA in Afghanistan and Iraq hunting down and keeping Americans safe from some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, Matt Castelli served at the NSC under two administrations, and when he completed his service there, he returned to the CIA on schedule and as planned, verified by his superior officer, Chris Costa:

“I was Matt Castelli’s supervisor at the National Security Council. Matt— and my entire team — did selfless work for the Nation. Matt was a national security professional of the highest caliber and a leader on the team who was trusted and relied on. When Matt admirably completed his tour at the NSC he returned, as planned, to his parent agency.”  - Chris Costa, Former Senior Director for Counterterrorism, NSC 2017-18

A former NSC colleague: “Matt Castelli was an accomplished and distinguished colleague of mine at the NSC. Any suggestion that he was pushed out of the NSC is outright false. He is an American patriot who put everything he had on the line to serve and protect his country.” – Retired Special Forces Lt. Colonel and former colleague and Director for Counterterrorism at the NSC.

And by the thank you letter and Outstanding Service Award he received from National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster for exemplary service and selfless dedication to the mission of the NSC. (See attached).

Any claims otherwise are patently false.

Allegations of impropriety in Castelli’s professional, personal, or private conduct is clearly a political hit job from allies of Elise Stefanik because she is afraid to run against a patriot like Matt Castelli who served our country while she only serves herself.

We look forward to a campaign that compares the treasonous actions of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to the country-first, patriotic record of Matt Castelli. The voters of the 21st congressional district deserve a member of Congress who will always put their interests ahead of self-serving, political ambition that degrades our constitution and tears apart our nation.