A video from The Sunday Times revealed a former army boss talking about "targeting" the MoD's permanent secretary Jon Thompson.
He told journalist's who were working undercover: "Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, will make the decision largely on the advice of Jon Thompson, the permanent secretary, who he has just appointed. He was previously the finance director, who I am rather targeting to talk to."
He said they went to school together and would be both attending a dinner.
"I've asked the organisers 'can you put me next to him'.
He later added: "It's going back to what I was saying before - it's about having a team that is layered, because at various layers you can get greater or lesser access."