As Health and Human Services spokesperson Michael R. Caputo speaks out on a Facebook live, supporters of President Donald J Trump receive warnings. Caputo tells supporters that an armed revolt is coming, and they need to prepare.
How Did Caputo Earn His Position at the HHS?
The short answer for this is probably that he showed loyalty to the president. Caputo has been friends with Trump for years, and over the years has shown to be a loyal and outspoken supporter. Despite having no qualifications in healthcare, the president appointed him as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the HHS, where he has served since April.
What Did He Warn Supporters to Prepare For?
In a Facebook Live on September 13th, Caputo wanted Trump supporters to be ready for what he feels is going to devolve into an armed revolt. But first, the HHS spokesperson raised concerns about the role of scientists in today’s pandemic, accusing them of sedition by trying to keep Americans sick.
The New York Times reports his words, “C.D.C. scientists ‘haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops’ to plot ‘how they’re going to attack Donald Trump next,’ Mr. Caputo said. ‘There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.’”
Then Caputo warned that there’s something more menacing awaiting supporters of the president, and the NY Times recounts his warning, “Mr. Caputo predicted that the president would win re-election in November, but that his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., would refuse to concede, leading to violence. ‘And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,’ he said. ‘The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.’”
Caputo believes the radical left has been training hit squads and warns supporters to stock up on ammunition because he says it will be hard to find soon.
Who is Michael R. Caputo?
Caputo was born on March 24, 1962, in Buffalo, New York. Immediately after high school, Caputo enrolled in the US Army. After leaving the Army, Caputo attended the University at Buffalo where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Foreign Affairs.
Caputo’s HHS bio says, “Prior to joining HHS in April 2020, Mr. Caputo served as president of Caputo Public Relations for 17 years, where he counseled corporations, chief executive officers, governments, presidents, and non-profit organizations on crisis communications, media relations, digital marketing, video production, executive communications, and public affairs. He has led victim-side disaster recovery communication programs after every US hurricane since Katrina for the nation’s leading litigators protecting survivors.
He has also advised top inventors protecting their intellectual property, job creators advocating public policy, and political candidates running for office in America and around the world. He started his career as a public affairs specialist for the United States Army 25th Infantry Division and served as a deputy director of the US House of Representatives Radio and Television Correspondents Gallery.”
Caputo worked for the George H W Bush presidential campaign as a director of media services in 1992. In 1994, Caputo moved to Russia and established residence, where he worked as an advisor to Russian president Boris Yeltsin. In 2000, Caputo briefly worked as a public relations specialist to help boost the public image of president Vladimir Putin, before returning to the US by the end of the year.
In 2014, Caputo began working for Trump and they began their long friendship in earnest. A friendship which eventually led to Caputo’s appointment in a high position at the HHS.
Did Caputo Go Too Far?
For now, despite making such extreme comments, it seems as though Caputo’s job is safe. The Washington Post reports, “Speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss behind-the-scenes conversations, a White House official said the president was aware of Caputo’s comments but that his job appeared to be safe for now. Nonetheless, the official said, some advisers were arguing Caputo should be demoted or removed because of concern that he could damage the administration’s efforts to build public confidence in a prospective coronavirus vaccine.
The official said the White House has also recently expanded its coronavirus vaccine messaging team, detailing staffers from other agencies in an ‘end run’ around Caputo.
Senior White House aides have previously warned Caputo that some of his public comments crossed a line. Caputo deactivated his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts on Monday.”
With Caputo being warned in the past that his comments sometimes cross the line, these new comments have faced an onslaught of criticism from Democratic lawmakers. While the president faces a tough re-election, Caputo will have to consider the effect of his words on worried voters. People are desperate for stability right now, and stirring up fears of insurrection isn’t likely to endear him to swing voters. With Caputo’s rhetoric aligning so closely with Trump’s, the president will have to decide whether to muzzle Caputo moving forward, or embrace his predictions.