Calls are growing for Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Michael Caputo to resign or be fired after he went on a bizarre Facebook live video rant Sunday, promoting dangerous lies and crazed conspiracy theories. Among them, warning Trump supporters of an armed insurrection if the president’s re-election is contested, saying he thinks he is going to be murdered –and even admitting his own “mental health has definitely failed.”
Caputo’s unhinged rant came after a Politico report exposed extreme politicization at HHS and CDC, where Caputo has forced scientists to alter historically non-partisan weekly reports, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR), now focused on the coronavirus, to favor President Donald Trump.
A longtime political operative, Caputo in 2000 worked for the “Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media to improve Vladimir Putin’s image in the United States.” He also worked for the Kremlin inn the 1990’s to shore up then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the Washington Post reports.
Calling for Caputo’s firing are at least one US Senator and health experts. Even his hometown newspaper is calling for his ouster.
“What’s lunacy is for paranoia and political calculations to be coloring the dissemination of scientific knowledge during a pandemic. Caputo’s ideas about managing a health crisis need to be put out to pasture.”
“We generally approve of Western New York having an influential voice in Washington, but Michael Caputo’s is no longer needed.” https://t.co/TT3YrbiJP5
— Maria Cuomo Cole (@MariaCuomoCole) September 15, 2020
That paper, The Buffalo News, points to Caputo’s “disdain” for CDC scientists, who, it notes Caputo said in his Facebook video, “haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops” to plot “how they’re going to attack Donald Trump.”
“There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.”
Minutes ago Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called for HHS Secretary Alex Azar to “resign immediately,” hinting at the Politico report of Caputo’s doctoring of the MMWRs.
“It has become abundantly clear that the leadership at the Dept. of Health and Human Services has allowed perhaps the most important federal agency right now to become subservient to the President’s daily whims. So today I’m calling on Sec. Azar to resign, immediately.”
Here’s Sen. Schumer calling for Sec. Azar’s resignation: pic.twitter.com/G0cOXwvYMc
— The Recount (@therecount) September 15, 2020
Politico on Tuesday reports “Top Democrats called on HHS to fire its spokesperson amid mounting scrutiny over his actions and claims.”
Among them, Senate health committee ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA), who called for Secretary Azar to fire Michael Caputo, “after he reportedly claimed that a ‘resistance unit’ of ‘seditious’ government scientists at the CDC are working to undermine President Trump,” Talking Points Memo reports.
Schumer’s call on AZAR to resign comes after Democrats like @PattyMurray and @rosadelauro have demanded Azar to oust spokesman MICHAEL CAPUTO, under scrutiny for battling with scientists. https://t.co/zNDfffvgf9
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) September 15, 2020
“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Caputo said on Facebook.
“Remember the Trump supporter who was shot and killed?” Caputo said. “That was a drill.”
“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he also said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.”
“If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”
Former Assistant United States Attorney at SDNY, Daniel Goldman, says “Trump must condemn this talk and fire Caputo immediately. This is a real test of he will deal with an election loss.”
Former DOJ spokesperson, now an MSNBC security analyst warns that Caputo has a security clearance.
Michael Caputo sounds like he needs help, and he most definitely shouldn’t be in a position of authority in the government. I hope the people responsible for his security clearance (yes, senior HHS officials have them) take his words in this piece seriously. https://t.co/VvRs6LOLfq
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) September 14, 2020
A consortium of 13 well-known organizations is calling on Caputo to resign:
Protect Our Care
American Family Voices
CAP Action Fund
Committee to Protect Medicare
Health Care Voices
National Women’s Health Network
— Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) September 14, 2020
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Audio: Trump Threatens and Berates Georgia Official to ‘Recalculate’ Election and ‘Find 11,780 Votes’
President Donald Trump tried for over an hour to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The telephone call, which was described as “rambling” and “incoherent,” was first reported by The Washington Post on Sunday.
According to the report, Trump tried to convince Raffensperger to reverse the election results by both flattering and berating him.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” the president explained at one point. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger replied.
“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump later explained. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
On Sunday, Trump admitted in a tweet that he had spoken to Raffensperger.
“I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state “voters”, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!” Trump wrote.
I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the “ballots under table” scam, ballot destruction, out of state “voters”, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
The tweet was immediately flagged by Twitter as possible misinformation.
Raffensperger responded by saying that Trump’s claim was “not true.”
Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out https://t.co/ViYjTSeRcC
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021
Listen to a portion of the telephone call below.
Meltdown: Trump Falsely Claims ‘I Won the Election’ by Citing NY Times Tweet – After Calling Paper ‘Bad for America’
President Donald Trump has attacked The New York Times dozens of times, calling the paper and its reporting “an embarrassment to journalism,” “Fake News,” “a biased newspaper,” “all the news that’s not fit to print,” “the Enemy of the People,” and “bad for America,” to cite just a few of the many selections.
But The New York Times was reputable enough for the President to use it as a source Wednesday morning, when he lied that he had “WON THE ELECTION,” and falsely claimed there is “VOTER FRAUD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!”
…AND I WON THE ELECTION. VOTER FRAUD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY! https://t.co/9coP3R44UQ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
Trump claims are false. He did not win the election and there is not voter fraud all over the country.
Trump was so angry that his top election security chief allowed a report to be issued saying the 2020 election was the “most secure” in history that he fired him Tuesday night.
Here are just a few examples of Trump attacking The New York Times:
The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
“How many stories are wrong? Almost all of the stories the New York Times has done are inaccurate and wrong.” @greggutfeld The New York Times should close its doors and throw away the keys. The women mentioned in the Kavanaugh story said she didn’t even remember the event.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019
The Failing New York Times wrote a story that made it seem like the White House Councel had TURNED on the President, when in fact it is just the opposite – & the two Fake reporters knew this. This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People. So bad for America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018
If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
The New York Times is an embarrassment to journalism. They were a dead paper before I went into politics, and they will be a dead paper after I leave, which will be in 5 years. Fake News is the Enemy of the people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2020
Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace. Will that include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post, who constantly quote anonymous sources that, in my opinion, don’t exist – They will both be out of business in 7 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2018
Will someone please explain to the Fake News New York Times (ALL THE NEWS THAT’S NOT FIT TO PRINT) that the Democrats make it almost impossible for us to fill positions within government. They “maximum” delay even the best candidates, including Judges, leaving little time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020
Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People.” Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
Trump Tries to Sow Discord With Video of Election Workers Legally Collecting Ballots: ‘Is This What Our Country Has Come To?’
President Donald Trump in a Twitter temper tantrum tweeted a video that immediately went viral. It appears to show two election workers in an unidentified though publi street location, collecting what are supposedly ballots and placing them into suitcases/carryalls.
The person behind the camera, a woman, tells the workers she is “documenting” them. They do not appear to be doing anything wrong. At one point they ask her to keep a distance of six feet and note she’s not wearing a mask.
As they’re working, she continues to harass them, and they show her their ID as they continue to work.
The video has no date, time, or place, and Trump’s tweet provides no context.
But the President does manage to create massive concern and outrage by saying, “You are looking at BALLOTS! Is this what our Country has come to?”
His goal in tweeting out the video is to sow distrust in the U.S. election system, and by the massive number of retweeets and responses, it’s clear he has succeeded.
Again, he provides no context for the video. It could have been recorded last week or last month. It could be staged and fake. It could be real but filmed in another country. There is no way of knowing because Trump intentionally hasn’t told anyone.
It is pure propaganda.
That he did it on Veterans Day makes it all the more despicable.
The video has more than 2.2 million views in just one hour.
You are looking at BALLOTS! Is this what our Country has come to? pic.twitter.com/cI2ZTItqUi
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2020
The video, it turn out, is real, but from November 4.
“L.A. County officials told Reuters that these ballots were collected on Nov. 4 but were deposited by voters on or before Nov. 3. They are therefore valid and will be processed and counted.”
“All vote by mail ballot drop boxes were closed and locked at 8 PM on Election Day. Ballots from all boxes throughout the County were picked up the following day,” Mike Sanchez, a spokesman for the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, told Reuters.
In other words, there’s nothing nefarious or untoward, or wrong about what these two men were doing.
The only wrongdoer in this scenario is President Donald Trump.
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