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Internal documents show officials waved red flags before Trump's Tulsa rally

Trump Tulsa rally warningsOklahoma health officials raised red flags before President Trump’s indoor rally in June, warning there could be significant spikes of coronavirus cases and deaths from the event, according to internal state documents.

Dozens of emails obtained by The Hill through a state freedom of information request reveal growing angst within the Oklahoma public health department in the days leading up to the June 20 rally.

Aaron Wendelboe, who at the time was the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s epidemiologist, sent one email titled: “How strongly do I speak out?”


Trump health aide Michael Caputo taking leave of absence after targeting CDC scientists

Michael CaputoMichael Caputo, the top communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services, will take a medical leave of absence for two months, the department announced on Wednesday, days after Caputo baselessly claimed that government scientists are withholding effective COVID-19 treatments to hurt President Trump's reelection bid.

"Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing that HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo has decided to take a leave of absence to focus on his health and the well-being of his family. Mr. Caputo will be on leave for the next 60 days," the department said in a statement.

In a statement, Caputo said that he consulted with Mr. Trump and HHS Secretary Alex Azar before making his decision.


DOJ Sends Grand Jury Subpoenas to John Bolton’s Book Publisher, Agent

DOJ goes after BoltonThe Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into whether Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton mishandled classified information with the release of his tell-all book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.

Federal prosecutors issued two grand jury subpoenas to the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, and literary agent, Javelin, asking for all communication with Bolton, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bolton, who made several embarrassing revelations about Trump in the book, agreed to let security officials review his book before publication but the DOJ claim it was published before a final sign-off was given.


Woodward: Restricting travel from China wasn't Trump's idea

Bob WoodwardJournalist Bob Woodward said early Monday that restricting travel from China in response to the coronavirus pandemic was not President Trump’s idea.

Host Savannah Guthrie noted on NBC's "Today" that Woodward’s book “Rage” claims that Trump implemented the restrictions on the advice of his administration’s health experts, including Anthony Fauci, after a Jan. 28 meeting.

“It's not that President Trump banned travel, people coming from China to the United States. He restricted it, and as we now know, there were some problems and lots of people from China instead of coming to the United States went to Europe and then came into John F. Kennedy airport in New York,” Woodward replied. “And that's why there was such a firestorm of a virus in New York City at that time.”



Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’

Vindman: Trump is Putin's IdiotShortly after midnight on June 17, 1972, an unusually attentive security guard named Frank Wills discovered an unlocked door in the garage of the Watergate office complex. A piece of tape had been placed over the latch. Wills removed the tape and continued on his rounds. When he returned a while later, he found the lock taped again. He called the police. Twenty-six months later, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency.

“This is the door,” I tell Alexander Vindman, late of the United States Army and the National Security Council. Vindman and I were supposed to be walking along the Potomac, but we took a detour to visit the Watergate. I wanted to show him this particular door. There is no plaque here, but there should be one, dedicated to the Constitution, to the free press, and to the most important security guard in American history.


Trump Health Aide Falsely Alleges Conspiracies and Warns of Armed Revolt

Michael Caputo spreads conspiracy theories on FacebookThe top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus made outlandish and false claims on Sunday that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and warned that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

Michael Caputo, 58, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said without evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump.


Trump holds indoor rally in Nevada, defying state coronavirus restrictions

Trump indoor rally in Nevada defies lawsPresident Donald Trump offered a glaring new example of his refusal to put medical science before politics with a large indoor rally Sunday night that made a mockery of social distancing, while the pandemic he mismanaged has now claimed more than 194,000 American lives.

The event in Nevada -- his second rally in the state in as many days -- did not only risk the health of those present, thousands of whom were packed together inside a manufacturing facility in defiance of the state's ban on local gatherings of 50 people or more. It also has the potential to turn into a super spreader event that could seed Covid-19 outbreaks in the wider community. Trump hadn't held an indoor rally in nearly three months, since his last one, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after which the city saw a surge in cases and multiple campaign staffers along with Secret Service agents tested positive for the virus.


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