EXCLUSIVE: ‘It was party before country back then’: Ex-NSC counterterrorism staffer running for Congress on ‘country before party’ platform is accused of drinking on the job and sleeping with colleagues in the prayer room while at the White House
- Matt Castelli served as a director for counterterrorism within the National Security council from 2016-2018
- He is running as a Democrat for New York’s 21st congressional seat, selling himself as a moderating voice within politics – an ‘alternative’ to ‘extremism’
- Multiple former NSC colleagues say that Castelli was known to drink on the job, and often to collect overtime pay while doing so, and
- He allegedly had sex with multiple of his coworkers and bragged about sleeping with women in the Eisenhower Office Building prayer room
- ‘He told us all about the prayer room – that was his thing,’ one former colleague said of Castelli
- The colleague said Castelli told one story where either during the NSC Christmas party in 2017 he took a female colleague back to the prayer room for sex
- Castelli’s campaign claimed such allegations were a ‘political hit job’ ahead of his Aug. 23 primary
Matt Castell is a Democrat who used to serve as a director of the counterterrorism division for the National Security Council
A former high-level National Security Counsel official running for Rep. Elise Stefanik’s New York seat claims to put ‘country before party,’ but former colleagues say he put ‘party before country’ with wild and raunchy workplace behavior, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Matt Castelli, a Democrat who used to serve as a director of the counterterrorism division for the National Security Council, is selling himself as a moderating voice within politics – an ‘alternative’ to ‘extremism’ plaguing both sides.
But Castelli knew no moderation when he worked for the White House – multiple former National Security Council colleagues say that 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.
‘It’s funny because he’s all about country before party – it was party before country back then,’ one former colleague said.
Castelli had first been brought in to the National Security Council under President Obama in 2016 and stayed on through the beginning of the Trump administration until 2018.
He allegedly often bragged to coworkers about sleeping with women in the prayer room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building – a building connected to the White House where the National Security Council office and other White House staffers work.
Castelli had first been brought in to the National Security Council under President Obama in 2016 and stayed on through the beginning of the Trump administration until 2018
Castelli is pictured above with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D). He’s been endorsed by 7 of 12 county Democratic Parties
Castelli is running against Democrat Matt Putorti in an Aug. 23 primary before he hopes to face off with Republican Stefanik in November
‘He told us all about the prayer room – that was his thing,’ one former colleague said of Castelli. The colleague said 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. ‘There were a couple other times where he’d just sneak off during the day,’ to hook up with women, the colleague, who requested anonymity to speak freely, told DailyMail.com.
Castelli claimed that such accusations were a ‘political hit job’ ahead of the midterm election.
‘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 to DailyMail.com.
Castelli is running against Democrat Matt Putorti in an Aug. 23 primary before he hopes to face off with Republican Stefanik in November. The former CIA officer also served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s received endorsements from 7 out of 12 county Democratic Committees, 11 out of 12 county Democratic Committee chairs.
Castelli and National Security Council staffers work in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building which is next to the White House
The colleague, who now works under the Biden administration, said that staffers within the office were well aware of Castelli’s fetish. The New York candidate is alleged to have slept with at least three female colleagues, including one married woman. The three women did not respond to a request for comment.
‘It was open- there was no secret about it,’ the source said.
The source said there was a ‘very rampant alcohol culture’ within the team and Castelli was one to go out for beers and return to the office, sometimes staying so long he would collect overtime pay. ‘I feel kinda bad, but dude just liked to party.’
Another former NSC colleague said he was ‘very much aware’ of Castelli’s reputation as a party-loving philanderer.
‘I can confirm that that’s something that puts across directorates across across the staff, the NSC that it’s something he would brag about to other colleagues and whether it was drinking on the job, hooking up with women, using misusing the prayer room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Those are all things that I heard discussed,’ the colleague said.
Another former CIA colleague of Castelli’s, who identified as a friend but said the two diverged on politics, claimed not to have ever heard such rumors.
‘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.’
Former colleagues also say that Castelli was either ‘pushed out’ early or fired from his counterterrorism position due to tensions in the office.
One former colleague claimed that Castelli was ‘squeezed out’ because he wrote a national counterterrorism strategy that former national security advisor H.R. McMaster was so unhappy with he wanted him to rewrite the entire thing or leave the position. Castelli chose to leave the position.
Another former colleague said he’d ‘heard rumors’ that Castelli had left due to a conflict over the strategy with McMaster, but said ‘personal behavior’ could have played into it as well.
‘I mean these are coveted positions at the White House. People don’t choose to leave them early voluntarily – most of them work their entire career to get to that point.’
Castelli in a statement to DailyMail.com said that any accusation he was squeezed out of the National Security Council is ‘patently false,’ and provided letters from McMaster and former President Trump thanking him for his service.
Castelli’s supervisor at the NSC, Chris Costa, said in a statement that Castelli left the role ‘as planned’ and denied accusations that he was pushed out.
‘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,’ Costa, former senior director for counterterrorism, said.
Castelli, who has painted Stefanik, the chair of the House Republican Conference, as ‘Extremist Elise, has said part of the reason he chose to run for office was the January 6th Capitol attack.
He paints himself as a moderate alternative for New York’s 21st District, the largest congressional district east of the Mississippi River.
‘I led teams leading down some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, served in Afghanistan and Iraq. But after COVID-19 it got to a point where we were having a 9/11 in this country every day in terms of deaths. So I left government and joined a healthcare organization,’ Castelli explained to WWTI. ‘But then January 6 happened.’
‘I’m not just running as a Democrat. I’m also running as a member of the moderate party. Something we established here at the beginning of this race and we had tremendous support,’ he said.