Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo will not be fired by Secretary Alex Azar, but will take a 60-day leave of absence after his weekend Facebook live video rant. In that video Caputo, who has served as an advisor to both Russian Presidents Putin and Yeltsin, warned of a “deep state,” accused CDC scientists of “sedition,” and appeared to imply Democrats were guilty of murder.
Caputo on Tuesday apologized to staffers and hinted he would take a medical leave or resign.
On Wednesday, HHS announced he is taking a leave “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family.”
Caputo is a Republican political operative who worked of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He is known to be friends with Trump ally Roger Stone.
He was the subject of a Politico report last week that revealed he had forced CDC scientists to change what are considered “holy” reports about death in the U.S. to be more favorable to President Trump.
In the Facebook video, Caputo said, “I’m not going anywhere. They’re gonna have to kill me. And unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going.”
“There are scientists working for this government who do not want America to get better. Did you hear me? There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well until after Joe Biden is his president. It’s a fact. I know it because I’ve heard it.”
“They can, these people cannot, cannot allow America to get better, nor can they allow America to hear good news. It must be all bad news until after the election. Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, that’s sedition.”
“I’m under siege. It’s been going on for a couple of weeks. And I don’t care because I have the President’s support. I know that because he’s told me so.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story has been updated.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Former US Attorney Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ After Report Secret Service Failed to Share Threat Against Pelosi
A former U.S. Attorney is calling for a full investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s failure to share intelligence it had detailing a violent threat against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats.
“This is deeply disturbing,” says Joyce Vance, who is now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. She says it “requires a full investigation.”
“The Capitol Police are responsible for protecting the Speaker,” Vance continues. “If true” that the U.S. Secret Service “failed to pass on intelligence about threats, that’s very alarming.”
Vance points to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that finds the Secret Service discovered a violent social media based threat on January 4, 2021, two days before the insurrection, but did not share that intelligence with the Capitol Police until nearly 6 PM ET on January 6.
The U.S. Secret Service is an agency under the Dept. of Homeland Security. The DHS Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari, is under investigation by two powerful House Committee chairs who on Tuesday accused him of “obstruction.”
In a separate report CREW reveals that “days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, documents exchanged between the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies outlined ‘threats of violence’ on the 6th, coming ‘predominantly from right wing groups’ with ‘plans to bring weapons into the District,’ according to documents obtained by CREW. The Secret Service knew that Trump’s supporters would be demonstrating around Freedom Plaza and the Capitol with the intent to cause violence, but the agency does not appear to have taken the threat seriously.”
“While the Secret Service downplayed threats posed by right-wing extremist groups and Trump’s supporters leading up to January 6, the newly obtained documents reveal just how grave and explicit the threats had actually been,” CREW alleges.
Image via Shutterstock
Watch: Pence Says He Would ‘Consider’ Appearing Before J6 Committee if Offered ‘Invitation’ to ‘Participate’
Former Vice President Mike Pence, asked if he would testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, said if invited he would “consider” participating.
“If there’s an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said Wednesday morning at a political event in New Hampshire, a state presidential hopefuls visit early and often. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, but as I’ve said, I don’t want to prejudge.”
In fact, as NBC News producer Frank Thorp V noted, “It would not, actually, be unprecedented for a VP to testify on Capitol Hill.”
Pence, as he often does, tried to frame his remarks in a historic context.
“Under the Constitution, we have three coequal branches of government, and um, any invitation that’d be directed to me, I’d have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as Vice President.”
Thorp notes that “Vice President Schuyler Colfax testified before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Credit Mobilier on January 7, 1873, which was while he was in office.” He also points out that President Abraham Lincoln and President Woodrow Wilson testified before Congress.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney adds that “many” of Pence’s “former top aides have testified at length, presumably with his blessing.”
Pointing to the video below, law professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck noted Wednesday morning that “Former Vice President Ford testified before Congress in October 1974 … while he was PRESIDENT.” He also notes that “former Presidents (to say nothing of former VPs) have testified before Congress *sixteen* times.”
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss says the former vice president “needs to testify fully under oath before the House January 6 Committee — and he must not take the Fifth.”
Watch Pence below or at this link:
Former Vice President Mike Pence when asked if he would cooperate if the January 6th committee called on him to testify:
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.” pic.twitter.com/y9NFrHwYtf
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022
Cheney ‘Thinking About’ White House Run – Will Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ to Keep ‘Grave Threat’ of Trump From Oval Office
After a staggering loss in her congressional primary Tuesday U.S. Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) is making more headlines at the moment than the man who promised to ensure her defeat: Donald Trump. Cheney says she’s “thinking about” running for president.
Rep. Cheney lost her Wyoming GOP primary by a 66.3% to 28.9% estimated margin Tuesday night, after winning her district just two years ago with more than 70% of the votes, and having the added benefit of being the daughter of a former GOP vice president, defense secretary, and congressman.
As she has since the January 6, 2021 insurrection, Cheney still has Donald Trump in her sights.
“I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic. And I think that defeating him is going to require a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents, and that’s what I intend to be a part of,” she told Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “TODAY” show Wednesday morning.
She said she will do “whatever it takes” to keep the former president from returning to the Oval Office.
That could include running for president, which Cheney hesitantly says she’s “thinking about,” telling NBC News she will make a decision “in the coming months.”
“We’ve now got one major political party, my party, which has really become a cult of personality, and we’ve got to get this party back to a place where we’re embracing the values and the principles on which it was founded,” she said.
Cheney, who still is vice chair of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, did not appear to have a dedicated, scripted response to Guthrie’s questions, but she did file papers early Wednesday morning to reorganize her re-election account into a leadership PAC.
Cheney “renamed her re-election account THE GREAT TASK sometime early this morning. It’s now a leadership PAC,” Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports. He notes it’s “flush with $7 million.”
Watch Cheney’s “TODAY” show interview below or at this link:
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
‘Arsonist’ Trump Criticized for Ratcheting Up Anger in Fox News Interview as He Claims He ‘Will Do Whatever’ to Help
- News2 days ago
Rumors Swirl as ‘Flight Risk’ Trump Claims FBI Took His ‘Three Passports’ – He Can Still ‘Ask for Asylum’
- CRIME2 days ago
Man Taken Into Custody and Charged After Allegedly Making Death Threats Against FBI Following Mar-a-Lago Raid
- News2 days ago
‘This One Is Different’: Trump Allies Increasingly Concerned About ‘Deeply Serious’ Scandal
- COMMENTARY1 day ago
Trump’s Weaponization of DOJ Notice to Pick Up His Passports Negates Claim He Will ‘Do Whatever’ to Tamp Down Anger
- News2 days ago
Does Trump Still Have Classified Docs? DOJ May Think So After Asking Judge to Keep Affidavit Sealed Former Fed Says
- News2 days ago
Former Trump CFO Nearing ‘Unexpectedly Favorable’ Plea Deal With Manhattan DA: NYT
- BREAKING NEWS2 days ago
‘Direct Personal Knowledge’: Federal Judge Denies Lindsey Graham’s Request to Quash Subpoena Ordering Him to Testify