HHS Propgandist Michael Caputo Is the Rat-Fucker’s Protégé

It was inevitable when Trump installed a press flack in April with the intention of riding herd on Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the flack, Michael Caputo, would invent a false reality about Trump’s efforts to fight COVID.

Last week, Politico described how Caputo has done just that.

Caputo and his team have attempted to add caveats to the CDC’s findings, including an effort to retroactively change agency reports that they said wrongly inflated the risks of Covid-19 and should have made clear that Americans sickened by the virus may have been infected because of their own behavior, according to the individuals familiar with the situation and emails reviewed by POLITICO.

Caputo’s team also has tried to halt the release of some CDC reports, including delaying a report that addressed how doctors were prescribing hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug favored by Trump as a coronavirus treatment despite scant evidence. The report, which was held for about a month after Caputo’s team raised questions about its authors’ political leanings, was finally published last week. It said that “the potential benefits of these drugs do not outweigh their risks.”

In one clash, an aide to Caputo berated CDC scientists for attempting to use the reports to “hurt the President” in an Aug. 8 email sent to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other officials that was widely circulated inside the department and obtained by POLITICO.

That has led to a closer focus on Caputo, including this NYT piece describing a fevered Caputo calling for armed insurgency if Trump doesn’t win.

“I don’t like being alone in Washington,” he said, describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” He then ran through a series of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede.

“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.” He added: “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”

Bizarrely — particularly given Caputo’s ranting about insurgency and his claims to be stressed by his implication in the Mueller Report — few of the stories on him (WaPo is one exception) have even mentioned his relationship to Roger Stone.

Caputo did not just set Stone up for a meeting with a Russian offering dirt in May 2016. He’s Stone’s protégé. Multiple Mueller 302s describe that Stone got Caputo a job with the campaign. Manafort testified that he used Caputo to keep track of what Stone was up to — a damning description given that Manafort offered more details about Stone’s foreknowledge of the Podesta emails than other known witnesses. Caputo’s own 302–which was released in February– was heavily redacted because of ongoing investigations. One thing it revealed, however, is that Caputo ran a “Project Rasputin” for Trump in 2016 that remains unexplained.

Caputo repeatedly complained that, after Stone was indicted, a gag prohibited him from speaking with witnesses, including him. In December he wrote Judge Amy Berman Jackson a plaintive letter asking for permission to spend Christmas with Stone.

Mr. Stone and I have been close friends since 1986. We work together, we dine together, our families share holidays together.


[I]t’s Chrismas, Judge, and our family wants to spend time with his.


[W]ith the holiday season imminent, I am writing to ask to see Roger and his family again soon. During this season, I hope you see fit to give our families this gift.

He also wrote a letter in support of leniency.

As the years went on, Roger and I became close friends. I learned important lessons from him: to listen more than talk, to keep driving forward during hard times, to keep my friends and family close. He loved friendly but hard-hitting banter, and I learned to give as well as I got. He was the big brother I never had, and I feel fortunate.


People think they know Roger Stone: he plays hardball; he’s Machiavellian. But he is at his center a caring man.

Since Stone’s commutation, however, Caputo and Stone should be free to talk. It’s likely not a coincidence. then, that Caputo is making the same calls for insurgency after Trump loses that the rat-fucker is.

77 replies
  1. RMD says:

    Thank you, Marcy. These are vitally important, and rarely-examined associations. I am thankful for your analyses, along with others, that get beneath the standard cover story. What one typically encounters is a one-sentence vaguely worded summation when what is warranted is some investigative work and a set of detailed paragraphs.
    In a related vein, James Fallows / The Atlantic has a new piece.

    The Media Learned Nothing From 2016
    The press hasn’t broken its most destructive habits when it comes to covering Donald Trump.
    We’re seeing a huge error, and a potential tragedy, unfold in real time.

    That’s a sentence that could apply to countless aspects of economic, medical, governmental, and environmental life at the moment. What I have in mind, though, is the almost unbelievable failure of much of the press to respond to the realities of the Trump age.

    • RMD says:

      Just noticed Greg Sargent / WAPO has a piece as well….
      Trump just repeated his ugliest claim about the election. Why isn’t it bigger news?

      Appearing on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning, President Trump again told his supporters to believe that if the election doesn’t deliver the result they want, the outcome is inherently illegitimate — that there are no democratically legitimate circumstances under which he and his supporters can lose in a fair election.
      But the political media seem to largely tolerate or avert their eyes from the second underlying idea — that the political system cannot deliver a legitimate outcome in which he loses. He and his top advisers almost never face any tough questioning about that second series of claims.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Holding that belief – and broadcasting it – is cause for impeachment or forced resignation. Won’t happen, but it should. That’s how insanely beyond normal Donald Trump is already – and we are still two months from the election.

        • Vern says:

          Norms, schmorms. It concerns me that no one is focused on codifying the many norms flouted lo these many years as a 1st priority. The next guy will be much smarter, I guarantee it.

        • P J Evans says:

          His belief that he’s *entitled* to re-election, and then to “negotiate” a third term, should put him in front of a judge and jury, if not a mental-health team.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            Honestly, I can’t keep up… but a LOT more people need to connect the dots that EW lays out here.

            These guys were supposedly in the service of Trump, a serial bankrupt presiding over a political campaign that has apparently squandered $800,000,000 on grift — and has recently cancelled tv ads in ‘red’ Arizona (!). {Qu for bmaz: how the f*ck does the GOP lose Arizona?!}

            These assholes squandered millions on campaign grift, lining their pockets, and now they’re getting nervous their looting operations might be interrupted. So rather than confess their shortcomings, which their fragile egos can’t handle, they start foaming at the mouth and taunting with threats.

            These junkies are scared shitless of losing their lucrative campaign grifting operation, so they make vile threats, because that’s all they have left.

            It’s likely not a coincidence. then, that Caputo is making the same calls for insurgency after Trump loses that the rat-fucker is.

            I hope like hell that every journalist, blogger, and Facebook parent mocks the hell out of Felon Stone and Caputo, and asks if they agree with Trump that deceased military are ‘losers’ or ‘suckers’?!

            If it didn’t sound completely bonkers, I’d want to ask, ‘WTF?! Do these morons fear that someone is going to come after them if they don’t deliver the Kremlin’s preferred electoral outcome?’ I realize that’s completely bonkers and nuts, but honestly the only appropriate response to this madness is to mock it with more bullshit. I don’t know what else to do at this point.

            Nothing made it absolutely clear that Stone was a Kremlin flunky than having Trump pardon his ass. I’d relish watching the LincolnProject take on these vipers.

  2. Alan Charbonneau says:

    Once again, excellent analysis and insight. His insurrection calls are quite alarming and they aren’t getting enough attention, IMHO.

    Also, it’s nice to see the word protégé rather than “mentee” which is like a rake on a chalkboard to my ears.

    p.s. any chance you’ll write about Elliott Broidy anytime soon?
    Per WaPo “ Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge longtime GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy in connection with efforts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests, according to people familiar with the matter, a result of a sprawling, years-long investigation that involved a figure who helped raise millions for Donald Trump’s election and the Republican Party.”

  3. viget says:

    Thanks for covering, Marcy. Caputo is, in my humble opinion, the most dangerous man in all of the federal govt right now. These lies are costing thousands of people’s lives. Not to mention completely shredding the CDC’S and FDA’s credibility.

    What do you make of his lackey, Paul Alexander? He has an impressive publication record and studied under a giant in evidence based medicine, but his emails are bat-shit crazy. I can’t figure him out.

    Just, FYI, he previously worked at WHO and the Infectious Disease Society of America, which I find interesting.

      • Raven Eye says:

        He may be dangerous, but he’s certainly not the most dangerous bottle in the Republican six-pack.

        [That said, I’ll never again look at a sampler six-pack quite the same…]

      • viget says:

        He is the most immediately dangerous person. Barr may be more dangerous in the long run, but if we don’t fix HHS and soon we run the risk of serious, irreparable harm to the public health apparatus and to the drug approval process.

        That will affect untold millions of people and the public’s trust in healthcare and the biomedical research enterprise, which is problematic to say the least with an out of control pandemic raging right now.

        So considering Caputo ain’t as powerful as these others you cite, yeah, I’d take care of him now. He’s far more dangerous if we leave him in unchecked.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Caputo’s a shiny object. He’s normalizing the outrageous, which is doing Trump’s work and making himself a lightning rod. But he’s also distracting from things that HHS and others are doing that hurt real people every day. He’s distracting from 200,000 people dying on Trump’s watch.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Michael Caputo is not a principal, he’s an opening act. The musicians who travel with their own bag men – who count their cut of the take and leave with it before the band starts their first number – are in the White House and DoJ. Their patrons are behind the curtain. Those are the ones I’m more afraid of.

      • viget says:

        Agree on the whole, but see above. Given that we might actually be able to DO SOMETHING about Caputo and soon, we should, ASAP.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Put him on the list, sure, but evaluate what that something is and prioritize. Caputo is no more likely to spill the beans than Stone, Manafort, or Flynn. The usual, “This is how we roll up organized crime figures,” analogy is not likely to apply.

    • Alan K says:

      I was curious about Paul Alexander, too. His publications are about “meta-analysis”. This is a turn-the-crank statistical technology. Doesn’t require too much knowledge of the particular domain, but does give you a great vocabulary for expressing skepticism. Could easily be tuned to gaslighting.

      • viget says:

        FWIW… cbc.ca asked McMaster U about him and they basically disavowed him. Not good PR for a supposed academic.

        Alexander’s PhD mentor is Dr. Gordon Guyatt, a well respected internist at McMaster and one of the founders of evidence based medicine. Some enterprising reporter needs to get him on the record about Alexander’s shenanigans and time at McMaster. I think we should keep tugging at this thread.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Nothing in Dr. Alexander’s training or background has empowered him to veto Anthony Fauci–not on any subject within Fauci’s field. And if you ask many Americans who’ve suffered for years with Lyme disease, serving at IDSA doesn’t necessarily burnish a doctor’s credentials.

  4. John Lehman says:

    A melodramatically historic nefarious being reincarnated as an international scandal (drumroll please) as ;
    “Our Ass Putin”
    Sorry couldn’t resist.

    • MB says:

      There’s not an endless supply of loyal Trump lunatics that could replace him? I’m thinking about the EPA when Pruitt finally had to go and was replaced with Wheeler. Or John Ratcliffe’s double-dip at the DNI position…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Would that be to undergo a 14-hour psych eval? All the great psycho-con artists are taking one these days. It’s called the Stoned Holmes Multiphasic. It can detect a full range of psychopathic behavior using only a few drops of precious bodily fluids. Donald Trump takes it every week: his doctors have never seen such scores.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      PJ, Thanks to this tweet, I have learned the correct name for what we are suffering from in the Trump administration.

      From Mirriam Webster +:


      kak·​is·​toc·​ra·​cy | \ ˌkakə̇ˈstäkrəsē \
      plural kakistocracies
      Definition of kakistocracy
      : government by the worst people
      Greek kakistos (superlative of kakos bad) + English -cracy

      government by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state.
      “the danger is that this will reduce us to kakistocracy”
      a state or society governed by its least suitable or competent citizens.
      plural noun: kakistocracies
      “the modern regime is at once a plutocracy and a kakistocracy”

  5. Tom says:

    Someone may already have thought of this, but: “How many rats would a ratfucker fuck if a ratfucker would fuck rats?” We can only hope that someday soon Mr. Caputo will be Mr. Kaput-oh!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A guy who sells industrial sausage retail is not the kind of guy whom I’d trust to tell me what really happens from industrial hog pen to abattoir, grinder, casing, and table.

      • P J Evans says:

        He may be dim enough to tell the truth about it for everyone else to see. A lot of Trumpistas aren’t too bright.

  6. Raven Eye says:

    Politico has another piece on Caputo:


    I’m not sure what alternative universe logic generated this paragraph in their story:

    “The departure of Caputo, who has closely controlled the health agencies’ dissemination of information about coronavirus, would be a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to promote a possible vaccine, if one is approved in the fall.”

    At this point in time Caputo’s departure might be a benefit to the administration’s efforts.

    But this was interesting:

    “He blamed his recent behavior on a combination of physical health issues and the toll of fielding death threats against his family. Caputo also acknowledged that he had never read one of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, despite his team’s ongoing efforts to try to edit those documents.”

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      I’m getting really annoyed by politico and nyt helping push reality tv distractions the administration is gleefully directing.

      News: Word today of coerced sterilizations of detainees, Trump admits on tape with Woodward that he is actually two children standing on each other’s shoulders under a trenchcoat.

      WH: Make some drama around Caputo

      News: Takes the bait

      Trump is probably gloating that the subject was changed. And what’s with the view from nowhere tone in these articles? “If Caputo is made to leave, it would be a blow to Trump”, I mean c’mon, Trump is the one directing and approving this whole charade.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trumpies are always pathetic victims of dangerous inscrutable lefties. BS. Caputo is HHS’s political commissar. If he is forced out, it is an attack on the politics he is there to enforce. It would have SFA to do with developing a legitimate vaccine.

      As for whether he’s read the reports he is there to censor, he’s a paid liar, so who knows. But since he has a staff, he could easily have had them summarized, with key items ripe for censorship highlighted.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Is he paranoid? Or is this for real?
      And if it’s for real… that is bat-shit.
      It sure raises questions about whether he is linked to Broidy, as well as to Stone.
      This is completely bizarre.
      There must be a thread here that I’m just not following, because this is getting way too weird for anything even remotely like civil service or ‘normal’ government.

    • Eureka says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s about the $ 250 million scheme they had planned to misappropriate tax dollars for a propaganda campaign wrt COVID (particularly pushing confidence in an early vaccine) — note it does say his leaving would be a blow to “promote”…

      Here’s a blurb:

      HHS bids $250 million contract meant to ‘defeat despair …
      Aug 31, 2020 coronavirus. HHS bids $250 million contract meant to ‘defeat despair and inspire hope’ on coronavirus. The proposed communications contract comes as the agency faces growing questions about its …

      • P J Evans says:

        If the guys at the top had done their publicly-sworn jobs, instead of being toadies to Trmp, we wouldn’t be in so much despair about the virus.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Taxpayer-funded wingnut welfare. Not legitimate as a program or expense.

        As I said on another thread, the people that do or approve this stuff need to be tracked and their works documented, at least to justify excluding them from a a security clearance or any future confirmed government post.

  7. RMD says:

    In a lengthy piece worthy of your time, New York Intelligencer’s Jonathan Chait takes a look at the necessity of putting Trump on trial in order to preserve the law.

    Lock Him Up? For the Republic to survive Trump’s presidency, he must be tried for his crimes. Even if that sparks a constitutional crisis of its own.

    One of the most corrosive effects of Trumpism upon the political culture has been to detach the law from any behavioral definition and to attach it to political identity. As Trump likes to say, “The other side is where there are crimes.” He has trained his supporters to understand this statement as a syllogism: If Trump’s opponents are doing something, it’s a crime; if Trump and his allies are doing it, it isn’t.

    It is because Trump views the law as a morally empty category, a weapon for the powerful to use against their enemies, that he has spent his presidency calling for the prosecution and/or imprisonment of a constantly growing list of adversaries: Joe Biden and Barack Obama (for “spying” and “treason”), House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (for paraphrasing Trump’s Ukraine phone call in a speech), John Kerry (for allegedly violating the Logan Act), John Bolton (for writing a tell-all book), Joe Scarborough (for the death of a former staffer), Nancy Pelosi (for tearing up his State of the Union Address), and social-media firms (for having too many liberals). Trump has alleged a variety of crimes against at least four former FBI officials and three Obama-era national-security officials.


  8. skua says:

    It is now over 12 days since Trump calling fallen US troops loosers and suckers was reported.
    His popularity on the fivethirtyeightdotcom aggregated survey graph remains steady.
    Mass hysterectomies of detained immigrants have now been reported at one detention centre by a whistle-blower nurse.
    There seems no liklihood of any publicised action, corruption or failure by Trump having any effect on his popularity with his base. This on-going support could well continue even if Trump acts in extra-ordinary and extra-legal ways after the election.
    Other than bearing witness and recording Trump’s damaging of America, I’m seeing strengthening social ties in your local communities as well worthwhile. And if you can steer your offspring and friends to do the same even better. You probably already know that social ties in a geographical local community are like the brakes, air-bags and roll-cage in the vehicle you are driving. If not then I’ve now made that analogy explict.

  9. madwand says:

    From Wikipedia on Michael Caputo provides an earlier assessment.

    “He worked for the Reagan Administration with Oliver North, and later as director of media services on the campaign for President George H.W. Bush in the 1992 United States presidential election. Caputo moved to Russia in 1994, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and was an adviser to Boris Yeltsin. He worked for Gazprom Media in 2000 where he worked on improving the image of Vladimir Putin in the U.S. He moved back to the U.S. and founded a public relations company, and then moved to Ukraine to work on a candidate’s campaign for parliament.”

    Seems to have hit all the bases besides Stone.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      He worked for Gazprom Media in 2000 where he worked on improving the image of Vladimir Putin in the U.S.

      The description would fit Trump, his entourage, and today’s GOP.

      • Chris.EL says:

        a plea for “enlightenment” …

        what, oh what, is the biigg f-ing deal: the appeal of Russia, things Russian, leaders of Russia … is it money, promise of money, what is it???

        There’s got to be more to it than money.

        OK here is a theory off top of my head: got to do with race and religion, forming society with hierarchical tiers for lighter skin, blonder hair, non-islamic and non-jewish [include all the other worship avenues that humans have come up with].

        The United States of America has always been about providing a place for those escaping persecution!

        I hope Biden and Harris can start to hammer their own messages with consistency SO PEOPLE WILL LISTEN.

        IT’S GOT TO BE DONE.

  10. Eureka says:

    For all of its failures, it’s worth a transcript of Stephanopoulos’ *horrible* 4th Estate job with Trump last night, in “The President and the People” town hall* with undecided voters by ABC News. (In a reminder of how much our general evaluatory standards have diminished, I saw/ heard all sorts of praise for Steph. — or the questioners — “fact-checking” or calling out Trump on his falsehoods. Yet it was nothing but a firehose of propaganda, the vast vast VAST majority of which went unchallenged. A few checks here and there accomplished nothing for a viewer otherwise unaware of the facts. There’s really no way to properly do a Trump live speaking event without live (if delayed) onscreen fact-checking of the sort Daniel Dale does best. (And quite frankly, multimedia crawlers accompany most all of the other programs, news and entertainment alike, so why not also this type of “show.”)

    Trump did say, at one point, something like ~ “We can’t do the Insurrection [Act]”, which seemed an important insight into their behind-the-scenes discussions. [He went on to say how governors needed to ask for federal Nat Guard assistance. This is a key element of Barr’s playbook for deploying federal forces into states (territories) as outlined in a couple pieces by Ryan Goodman+ at Just Security. Let’s hope governors continue to not fall for the plot.]

    A near-final segment, with a Latina woman who recently became a citizen (as had her recently deceased mother), was perhaps the worst in many ways. First, Trump salivated like a cartoon dog on sight of a pork chop (his face brightened _just like so_; worth more than any headline on how his campaign is chasing Latinx voters), then he says ~ “I love that you did that” when she pulls her mask to the side to speak. She explained that her mother had had breast cancer that had metastasized, but (and this was confusing**) Trump seized on COVID-related aspects of her mother’s death and blathered on about people dying alone (like his policies weren’t a principal cause of same. Worse, it was a cruel attempt to play ’empathic’). She was tearful and obviously at a tender place in mourning her mother, whose question she posed: what would Trump do about our immigration system, what would he change to help more people like her and her mom become citizens and be able to vote? Trump never actually answered her question. And with the news of the forced sterilizations, Stephanopoulos missed an important, crucial, all-the-modifiers opportunity to hold Trump to account.

    *conducted at the “National Constitution Center”, a newfangled (Y2K) place in Philadelphia (where the DeVoses have an exhibition hall named for them). We, the taxpayers, rented it out this past summer for Pompeo to deliver more of his Limited Natural Rights bunk.

    **Trump, not listening, introduced COVID (~”Did you say your mom got COVID?”) when she had said nothing of the sort/wasn’t even in that topical realm. Later in her preamble, she thanked him for his handling of “this epidemic”, saying we may have lost our jobs but it brought families closer. Then he kept returning COVID to the conversation — trying to cover his initial wiffle, basking, perseverating, who knows. His admin is fixated on people dying of other causes but also having COVID, but I’ll be darned if I ever heard her actually affirm that her mother had also had COVID. Storyline about ‘his stats’ stuck in his head?

    • Eureka says:

      Two follow-ups with the transcript:

      ● Re: Insurrection Act, Trump said: “I can call insurrection but there’s no reason to ever do that, even in a Portland case.” And: “I’m president, but I can only do what I’m allowed to do, George. I don’t need insurrection…I don’t need an Insurrection Act to take care of 250 anarchists.”

      National Guard issues as described, and larger points stand re Barr’s playbook (as per/at Just Security) and insight into their discussions.

      ● Re: the woman who queried Trump on immigration and citizenship, whose name is Flora Cruceta. The tale of the transcript is so much worse, exemplifying the horrible job Stephanopoulos did, contra back-slaps. Besides that Trump never answered her actual question [just ‘we’ve got a (merit-based)plan/it’ll be great’-type stuff], while working in a (here, fictional*) gratuitous blame of COVID death on preexisting conditions (besides the jag about how they die alone, after she cries about her dead mother), Trump spent far more of his time at talk propagandizing about COVID and therapies and vaccines. (All of that content needed fact checking, too.)

      I want to quote it and mark it up here so badly, but Trump’s non-topical blather exceeds fair use (if such applies to a transcript) by miles.

      Stephanopoulos just let him rail-on, off-topic. He not only never brought up the forced sterilizations — or even asked for a more specific answer as to Trump’s immigration plan — but cut to commercial, quickly saying about Trump’s speedy FDA claims (not in the transcript): “The question is is it being done safely we’ve got to take another break we’ll be right back [some over-talk]”.

      *unless Trump/campaign knows something about Cruceta’s mother’s death that she did not say (and appeared to disaffirm) during the segment. From the video, it seems he mis-heard “COVID” in “Republic” when she said that they came from the Dominican Republic. When Trump then asks if her mother had had COVID, she re-states that they came from the DR, and continues her preamble.


  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    When virtually every other thing coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth is a lie, what service to the American people is ABC – and every other media business – doing by having him live on air for any purpose? Just stop. Or admit that you are complicit in his lies, and broadcast them to make money. If Trump wants to lie, let him hold a rally or pay for his own air time. Just stop.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The literal or figurative, “Let Trump impeach himself,” strategy was never a valid argument, except as an excuse to profit from the status quo.

      • Chris.EL says:

        From CNN:
        “Trump damns himself with his own words” by S.E. Cupp:

        … “But it takes a special kind of “sociopath” (in the words of Trump’s own niece — a psychologist) to decide to put protecting his own re-election prospects over the health of thousands and thousands of people — and then essentially brag to a journalist in real time that he’s doing it. [referring to Woodward’s book Rage]

        * * * * * * *

        But Trump is to blame here. The failure is his.

        As former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted, “Donald Trump reveals what an absolute abomination he is. If he had a conscience or a soul, he would resign. Tragically for us, he has neither.”

        I think that says it all. ”


        Please, oh please, get this over soon!

        So if Trump and his many many co-conspirators succeed, Trump will be re-elected but we will never know if it was through real votes or software manipulation.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          S.E. Cupp (and the MSM) appears never to have looked up the definition of “sociopath.” (With Trump, I think the preferred term is “psychopath.”)

          Trump’s behavior would be “special” for a person of normal psychology. It is NOT special for a sociopath. Putting themselves first and caring nothing about harm to others is their defining characteristic.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            EOH, I actually think that the Biden campaign should send flowers to whoever talked Trump into this.

            We know that he lives to spew sound bites, but ‘herd mentality’ was one for the ages.

            Next time, the moderators should insist that he balance on one foot for 30 seconds, touch his finger to his nose, and do other simple neurological tasks. He can get away with b.s.’ing sound bites, but it’s hard to believe (after watching his dainty steps at West Point on that ramp) that his balance and reflexes are anything close to Biden’s (or Bernie’s, or Warren’s). That should concern even the most diehard Trump voters, as it’s actually not a partisan statement at all.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Regardless of what Trump says or how foolishly he looks, putting Trump on TV to lie is throwing him into his favorite briar patch. Trump is not out of his depth. In the traditional sense he is, but he isn’t trying to be president. He just wants the power.

            It’s emotionally satisfying when MSM contributors correct his lies or call out his mistakes. He repeats herd “mentality” when he ought to say herd “immunity.” But his base doesn’t hear that. They see a busy guy slipping up. Besides, Trump does not give a shit when he screws up.

            It’s not sufficient to rationally fact-check Trump’s lies. How much more honest could he be when he says the only way he could lose is if the other guy fantastically cheats?

            The MSM should cut-off the exposure that feeds him, because he always abuses them and the American people. Stop feeding that plant in the Little Shop of Horrors, so fewer people die.

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              I’m inclined to agree with your view that they have given him far, far too much oxygen.

              It’s not sufficient to rationally fact-check Trump’s lies. Very true.
              Still, the media needs to try.
              Trump’s use of false narratives appear to grease the skids for some kind of surveillance-enabled authoritarianism.

              Which is pretty much like handing our asses on a platter to the most depraved and mercenary.

              The more his campaign spirals into free fall, the weirder he’ll be. And the more he will thirst for autocratic powers.

              We need our comedians and artists now, more than ever; he feeds on fear, but is incapable of withstanding mockery and ridicule. Those are his kryptonite, and Stone, Caputo, et al are incapable of protecting him from those volleys.

    • Chris.EL says:

      generally, in agreement with sentiment for less coverage of Trump’s blow by blow. (Frankly if I had to watch a rally, from breathlessly awaiting the arrival of the “great one” — where are the fanfare trumpets — through to the conclusion of the frothy madness, ‘twould be akin to being waterboarded!!!!!)

      So for those who can’t afford Cable TV or high speed internet, ABC TV is free over the air waves.

      Let’s hope voters can have their minds opened to Trump’s lie-ing lips:
      … “Trump’s non-topical blather … Stephanopoulos just let him rail-on, off-topic.” …

      IT IS WHAT IT IS — yeah ???

  12. MB says:

    Caputo now officially “out”, at least for 60 days. Paul Alexander out permanently. Ryan Murphy now the “acting” HHS spokesperson. Caputo says he has a “lymphatic condition” causing alarming weight loss. At least he can’t claim to be going on a “previously-scheduled vacation”, an excuse some media figures regularly use when they get a little too controversial.


    • Molly Pitcher says:

      His “lymphatic condition” remarkably mirrors those symptoms of people using cocaine. I am sure that is just a coincidence, however.

        • MB says:

          Yeah, the HHS spox job was just a temp job, not suited to his real “talents”. Loyalty to the cult leader can wind you up in some strange places.

      • MB says:

        I actually saw a portion of the now-deleted Caputo FB Live rant and in the few minutes I saw, his manner is remarkably calm despite the insanity of what he is saying. So his message is not being delivered in a hyperbolic Alex-Jones-with-bulging-eyes-and-hysterical-voice fashion. I’ll tell you who gives off the appearance (whether true or not) of “using cocaine” is Rudy. He emanates a sense of desperation for getting the sound bites out of his mouth, mostly without listening to what is being said or asked.

      • MB says:

        Now you can worry about Ryan Murphy. I don’t know anything about him. He doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry, so my level of exhaustive research will have to expand elsewhere.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          You (we) should worry. Not floridly eccentric (like Caputo) but careful and therefore potentially more effective at getting what they want. The CDC under Redfield is so browbeaten now they seem barely capable of fighting back.

            • Chris.EL says:

              Well now, a guy with 12 years experience being moved from one assignment in the government to another; sounds like a DEEP STATER, no?

              • MB says:

                Well, the definition of “deep state” appears to be flexible and dependent on who says it. If you’re a bureaucrat who has worked through more than one administration AND you’re anti-Trump, that’s one definition of “deep state”. I don’t know who Murphy worked for when he worked in the House, maybe he was affiliated w/Tea Party types?

    • vvv says:

      Appears to have been press rep for Repub Reps circa 2009, then at some point became Azar’s flack.
      I found:
      “Ryan Murphy, former Comms Dir for Rep. Joe Wilson, Moves to House Ed & Labor Committee
      Ryan Murphy has been hired as Press Secretary on the Republican staff of the House Education and Labor Committee for Ranking Member U.S. Representative John Kline (R-MN), beginning in November. Murphy is now Communications Director for Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC). He previously was Deputy Press Secretary for Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). (CQ’s “People on the Move” column)”

      “Ryan Murphy, a longtime aide to Health Secretary Alex Azar and principal deputy assistant secretary for public affiars, will step in to lead day-to-day operations, according to the HHS statement.”

      “affiars” is not my error.

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