Michael Caputo, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, is weighing a medical leave of absence after calling an emergency meeting with staffers Tuesday. The move comes after the former Vladimir Putin advisor launched a paranoid rant on Facebook live video over the weekend, just days after reports revealed he had forced scientists to doctor sacred fact-based reports about the coronavirus to favor President Donald Trump.
“Caputo told staffers that his remarks — which included unfounded allegations the Centers for Disease Control was harboring a ‘resistance unit’ — reflected poorly on HHS’ communications office. He also blamed his recent behavior on a combination of physical health issues and the toll of fielding death threats against his family,” Politico reports.
“The session left some staffers with the impression that Caputo would soon step aside as the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs,” although he could be reassigned rather than leave the agency. He is also “mulling taking medical leave,” according to a staffer.
He is meeting with HHS Secretary Alex Azar (photo, right, with Caputo) Tuesday afternoon.
Caputo, a “protege” of Trump ally Roger Stone, reportedly apologized to staff for his remarks attacking the agency, but has never apologized for pressuring CDC scientists to tamper with reports critical to the fight against the coronavirus, just so they echo President Trump’s remarks.
Over the weekend Caputo said, “when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” adding: “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.”
“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” he added.
“Remember the Trump supporter who was shot and killed?” Caputo said. “That was a drill.”
He also lamented his “mental health has definitely failed,” complained about “being alone in Washington,” and the “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long,”
Image via Alex Azar/Twitter
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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.
‘Unsustainable’: Trump Meets With Political Advisors to Discuss ‘Path Forward’ as Aides Warn He Will Never Concede
President Donald Trump hasn’t done much in the way of being President for months, and even less now that the election is over. On Wednesday the President, still refusing to accept the increasingly obvious to eight out of ten Americans that he lost the election, sat down with his political advisors to discuss a “path forward,” according to CNN.
There literally is no political path forward for the President. Every day more world leaders call to congratulate Biden. Every day more ballots are counted. Every day Joe Biden’s lead – now 5.3 million votes more than Trump – grows. Every day more and more states are certifying their results.
Some experts project Biden will walk into the White House with 8 million votes more than Trump. Some say 10 million more.
Let’s not forget the Republicans are contesting an election that Biden will win with as much as 10 million votes when they are all counted.
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) November 9, 2020
Meanwhile, NBC News on Wednesday points to the “growing expectation among President Donald Trump’s advisers that he will never concede that he lost re-election, even after votes are certified in battleground states over the coming weeks.”
Trump aides suggest that while the President will never concede, he might not actually contest the results, as a means of saving face and enabling him to leave the White House.
“Do not expect him to concede,” one top aide said. More likely, the aide said, “he’ll say something like, ‘We can’t trust the results, but I’m not contesting them.’”
Another White House aide said at some point in the future Trump might “acknowledge the results” and say “that we’ll never know how accurate they are.”
But “we’re not there yet,” the aide added, while another called the entire situation “unsustainable.”
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