Robert F. Hyde is an avid supporter of President Donald Trump, an aspiring lobbyist and a Republican candidate for Congress from Connecticut whose name has surfaced in documents released by the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Ukraine investigation and the impeachment inquiry. The 40-year-old Hyde is included in text messages released by indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, including messages they exchanged about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and her location in the European country.
According to the January 14, 2020, release by the House Intelligence Committee, “In March 2019, Mr. Parnas communicated by text message with Robert F. Hyde about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. In response to some articles, tweets and videos accusing the Ambassador of being disloyal to President Trump, Mr. Hyde wrote, ‘Wow. Can’t believe Trumo [sic] hasn’t fired this bitch. I’ll get right in that.’ Mr. Hyde then sent a series of text messages suggesting that he had Ambassador Yovanovitch under physical surveillance in Kyiv and that ‘They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.'”
When contacted for comment about the text messages with Parnas on WhatsApp, Hyde told The Daily Beast, “Bull Schiff is a giant b*tch.” Hyde added, “Did Pelosi get drunk and lose the impeachment articles? Looks like Schiff wants to whistle blow me.”
Hyde added on Twitter, “How low can liddle Adam Bull Schiff go? I was never in Kiev. For them to take some texts my buddy’s and I wrote back to some dweeb we were playing with that we met a few times while we had a few drinks is definitely laughable. Schiff is a desperate turd playing with this Lev guy. … These are bad people, I’m out to expose their actions. Attack me all you want, get the facts first. The media is against me because they’re either complicit or have a hand in it, I welcome an investigation. I’ll provide my email password and hand my phone over, bring it on.”
Hyde, a Simsbury, Connecticut, resident, was previously in the spotlight over a sexist tweet about California Senator Kamala Harris. The December 2019 tweet said, “She went down, brought to her knees. Blew it. Must be a hard one to swallow…..#KamalaHarris #heelsup.” The tweet was sent after Harris announced she was dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary. Hyde did not apologize and did not delete the tweet. It was later removed by Twitter. Hyde refused to drop out of the congressional race, despite calls from Republican party leaders in Connecticut to do so. The Republican party appears to be backing another candidate, David Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor, to win the nomination to oppose Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes, who is seeking a second term in November.
On Twitter, Hyde describes himself as a U.S. Marines Corps veteran, who is, “pro-God, life, jobs, military, school security, 2A, animal rights [and] environment.” He said he got involved in politics because of Trump. His pinned tweet shows a message to Trump in 2012 saying, “I truly wish and wished you’d run for President!” Hyde did make contributions to the actual 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, according to federal records.
Hyde has portrayed himself as part of Trump’s inner circle and a top donor, but questions have been raised about how close he actually is with the people he is seen in photographs with on his social media pages. And while he has made major donations, they are not among the highest levels of Trump supporters. Senator Ted Cruz told Hearst Connecticut, “No idea who that is,” when informed he is featured on Hyde’s business website. Hyde has also posted photos with the president himself, Trump’s family and several top Republican lawmakers and officials, along with many of the players in Trump-related scandals, including Roger Stone, Parnas, Igor Fruman, Michael Flynn and Giuliani.
In a joint statement, Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Mahoney and Eliot Engel said, “During the impeachment inquiry, we issued a subpoena to associates of Rudy Giuliani who were involved in the President’s scheme. One of those individuals is Lev Parnas, who responded to his subpoena by turning over a trove of documents that provide more information about the effort to coerce Ukraine into helping the President’s reelection campaign.”
They added, “These documents—and those recently released pursuant to Freedom of Information Act—demonstrate that there is more evidence relevant to the President’s scheme, but they have been concealed by the President himself. All of this new evidence confirms what we already know: the President and his associates pressured Ukrainian officials to announce investigations that would benefit the President politically. There cannot be a full and fair trial in the Senate without the documents that President Trump is refusing to provide to Congress.”
Here’s what you need to know about Robert Hyde:
1. Robert Hyde Told Lev Parnas by Text Messages That He Had ‘Guys’ in Ukraine Who Were ‘Willing to Help if We/You Would Like a Price’ & Said ‘Guess You Can Do Anything in Ukraine With Money’
Robert Hyde sent several text messages to Lev Parnas, according to the documents released by the House Intelligence Committee. Parnas and another associate of President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, Igor Fruman, are both facing federal charges stemming from alleged campaign finance violations. They are accused of funneling money from foreign entities to U.S. candidates to purchase political influence.
Hyde met Parnas and Fruman in Florida while at Trump properties. Further details about their relationship were not immediately known. According to Hearst Connecticut, Hyde sent a reporter photos showing him with Giulani, and with Parnas and Fruman. In the photos with Parnas and Fruman, Hyde is seen smoking cigars with them. “The other photo featured Hyde on another occasion taking a selfie with Parnas, who wore a Trump yarmulke and crossed his arms over his chest making peace signs with his fingers. Hyde smoked a cigar and wore a Trump tee-shirt. In a third image, a tuxedoed Hyde smiles in a group shot with Fruman,” the Courant wrote.
In the text messages with Parnas, sent via WhatsApp between March 2019 and June 2019, the two men exchange a variety of tweets and news stories, mostly related to Ukraine. In one message to Parnas about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Hyde wrote, “f*ck that b*tch.” Yovanovitch had previously angered Trump because he thought she was working against him and did not support him. During a call with Ukraine’s president, Trump said she was “bad news,” and was “going to go through some things.”
On March 25, 2019, the two men exchanged a series of messages about Yovanovitch. Hyde wrote, “She under heavy protection outside Kiev.” Parnas replied, “I know crazy sh*t.” Over several texts, Hyde wrote, “What should I do with this? They are moving her tomorrow. The guys over (there) asked what I would like to do and what is in it for them. Wake up Yankees man. She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off. She’s next to the embassy. Not in the embassy. Private security. Been there since Thursday.” Parnas replied, “Interesting.”
Hyde added, “They know she’s a political puppet. They will let me know when she’s on the move.” Parnas replied, “Perfect.” Hyde wrote, “I mean where if they can find out. That address I sent you checks out. It’s next to the embassy. They are willing to help if we/you would like a price. Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money…what I was told.” Parnas replied, “Lol.”
Hyde texted Parnas on March 26, “Update she will not be moved special security unit upgraded force on the compound people are already aware of the situation my contacts are asking what is the next step because they cannot keep going to check people will start to ask questions. If you want her out they need to make contact with security forces. From Ukrainians.” He texted March 27, What’s the word bro. Any good stuff?” Parnas then told him he would call him. Hyde replied, “Let’s go Holmes.” He said that same day, “it’s confirmed we have a person inside.”
On March 29, Hyde asked Parnas if they should “stand down,” or “still need intel,” and said “she had visitors,” and wrote, “Hey broski tell me what we are doing what’s the next step.”
The two men then stopped texting until Parnas sent Hyde a link in May 2019 to a story about Giuliani planning a trip to Ukraine. On June 3, in the last text released by the House, Hyde wrote, “What’s up bud? Heard that got cancelled.”
Yovanovitch, a career diplomat and 33-year-veteran of the State Department, was removed from her position as ambassador to Ukraine in May 2019. She testified before Congress that she had been advised to leave Ukraine on the “next plane” in April 2019 because her security was at risk. Yovanovitch told Congress she felt threatened by Trump and his associates.
On Instagram, Hyde wrote on January 14, “Thank you for your kind words and support. Please click the link to make a contribution to our campaign so we can help get the house from Adam Bull Schiff and we can find out what really happened to the 12 billion dollars that disappeared in the Ukraine under Maria Yovanovitch.”
2. Roger Stone Once Said of His Meeting With Hyde, ‘We Laughed About What Assholes Liberals Are.’ Hyde Was Removed From a Trump Property in May 2019 & Told Police a ‘Hit Man’ Was Trying to Kill Him
Robert Hyde is featured in a photo on Roger Stone’s Instagram on May 11, 2019. Stone posted a photo with Hyde and wrote, “I enjoyed a fine cigar with @rfhyde1 one of @realdonaldtrump ‘s most loyal supporters. We are both Connecticut natives and we laughed about what assholes liberals are.”
Also in May 2019, Hyde was removed by police from Trump National Doral Miami in Florida because after an incident there, the Hartford Courant reports. Hyde told police he was in fear for his life and a “hit man was out to get him,” according to a police report obtained by the Courant. Hyde gave officers a variety of names and contacts to provide information about why he was in danger.
The Courant wrote, “He was not arrested. Police escorted him from the hotel and transported him to an undisclosed location. In the vehicle, Hyde said his computer had been hacked by the Secret Service and that the Secret Service was watching him at the premises, according to the incident report.”
Hyde was at the World Series game attended by President Trump. He posted a video with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Hyde’s Instagram, @congressmanhyde2020, and Facebook pages are filled with photos with those in Trump’s orbit, and President Trump himself. The photos include Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Tiffany Trump, Pete Hegseth, Dr. Ronny Jackson, Michael Flynn, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Corey Lewandowski, Stone and many others. Many of the photos are taken at Trump-owned properties in Florida and Washington D.C. He has since made hi Instagram private.
Hyde told Hearst Connecticut he became involved in politics because of Trump. He initially explored a bid for U.S. Senate, before launching a campaign for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District seat.
On his campaign website, Hyde writes, “My priorities will always be creating jobs, growing the economy, protecting our borders, safety and security for students, strengthening the middle class and providing for our fighting men and women—both during and after their service.”
The website adds, “Hyde is committed to jobs and growing the Connecticut economy, investing in infrastructure, lowering drug prices, and supporting our veterans, military, and the unbroken continuance of American Greatness. Religion is important to Robert and he is not afraid to fight for what he believes in. He is a fierce supporter of the 1st Amendment, the 2nd Amendment, and the Living Constitution of this great Democratic Republic, which is the foundation of what makes our country GREAT.”
Hyde contributed more than $23,000 to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee during the 2016 cycle, and also gave $25,000 to Trump’s inauguration, according to federal records and the Center for Responsive Politics.
3. Robert Hyde Was Accused of Owing $2,000 in Child Support Payments to the Mother of His Child, but He Denies Missing Payments & Says ‘Reporters Are Scumbags’ for Writing About the Court Records
Robert Hyde has a child with a 36-year-old Connecticut woman, according to state court records. They have been embroiled in a child support dispute for
According to the Hartford Courant, Hyde owed the mother of his 13-year-old son more than $2,000 in child support. “On Nov. 4, the family support magistrate in Torrington issued a temporary order for Hyde allowing him to pay $94 per week in child support, as well as a weekly assessment of $14 to make up the $2,100 he owed,” the Courant wrote.
The woman, Jennyfer Morin, told the Courant, “I’m shocked that people are planning to vote for this man. He can’t even afford $100 a week in child support but he’s golfing with Trump. We’re going back and forth and he’s stating he’s unemployed and can’t afford child support.”
Hyde has denied being behind on payments.
Just before the House Intelligence Committee released its records relating to Hyde, the congressional candidate posted tweets ranting about the child support issue on Facebook and Twitter. In the now-deleted posts, Hyde showed a photo of his child support payments in 2019, revealing he paid $27,885.
He wrote, “I just can’t wait for my attorney. He’s probably going to be pissed I put this out there before he wrote a statement. But most reporters are scumbags. Here’s what I paid last year in child support. Not anything else, not lawyers, not motions in court, not anything but child support. I couldn’t standby any longer when that very fat nasty girl Erica L and my kids mom calls me a ‘deadbeat’. Pretty sure the L stands for losers in both names. I love my son, miss my son and he is a big part of why I’m running for office. #hyde2020 #fixit.”
4. Hyde Runs a ‘Public Affairs & Government Relations’ Firm & Previously Ran a Landscaping & Construction Company & He Often Touts That His Company Helped Build 50 Cent’s Connecticut Mansion
Hyde started a “public affairs and government relations” firm in 2018, which he called Finley Hyde & Associates LLC, an apparent play on his full name, Robert Finley Hyde. The firm is based in Washington D.C., he says on its website. Hyde said on Linkedin he has also been a “change agent” since 2014.
His firm’s website says, “The FH&A Public Relations, Public Affairs and Government Relations team confidently solves tough problems. Our team has done it all, from managing high-profile local issues, to handling major public affairs projects in the U.S. and abroad, to hosting foreign dignitaries on U.S. visits.”
According to Hearst Connecticut, Hyde has made misleading and untrue statements about work his firm has done, including a false claim that he worked for Democrats in Connecticut.
John Brandt, who runs the Public Affairs Council, an association of D.C. PR firms, told Hearst, “I’ve never heard of Finley Hyde and they’re not members of the Council. Their website is rather opaque I must say.” Hyde claims his company does mostly public relations work.
Robert Maguire, of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, told Hearst some people in D.C. are known to hang around Trump properties and use photos and social media, along with campaign contributions and cash, to build a business. Adav Noti, of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, told Hearst, “That’s exactly what Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman appear to have done. They made about $350,000 in contributions (plus more in ‘legal’ payments to Rudy Giuliani) to buy access to Trump’s inner circle, then used those connections to post lots of pictures with the Trumps on social media and otherwise promote themselves and their businesses. Of course, Parnas and Fruman did some or all of this with illegal money, and we have no reason to believe that’s the case with Hyde, but certainly the pattern of using money to buy access and sell connectedness is the same.”
Hyde previously ran RF Landscaping and Construction LLC, in Simsbury from 2002 to 2018, according to his Linkedin profile. He brags on campaign website, “fun fact: Robert F. Hyde’s firm helped build the Farmington, CT, home of Curtis James Jackson III, otherwise known as 50 Cent; some say Mr. Hyde has cross-over appeal).”
Hyde says on the campaign website, “The small business didn’t stay ‘small’ long and quickly grew to over 100 employees as a full-service construction firm.”
Hyde has faced legal issues relating to his business and personal interests, according to court records. He was evicted from a commercial location in Simsbury where his former company was based, records show. He was sued by a marina in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, in January 2019. The lawsuit, which was won by the marina, accused him of failing to pay for storage fees and services for his boat.
In 2011, Hyde was arrested by police in Avon, Connecticut, on a reckless endangerment charge after a tree fell on power lines during work his company was doing, according to Hearst. Hyde said the case was dropped after his insurance company paid for repairs to the power lines.
5. Robert Hyde Is a Graduate of Central Connecticut State University & Says He Served in the Marines for 8 Years, Including in Iraq
Robert Hyde is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University, according to his Linkedin profile. He completed his studies there in 2006 with degrees in finance and economics, he said.
Hyde also says he served in the Marines from 1999 to 2007, including in Iraq. His campaign website says, “Robert is a post-9/11 war veteran who enlisted while attending CCSU because of duty and service to country. After serving eight years in the United States Marine Corps and serving in the Iraqi theater as a security detail during the peak of the fight.”