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Top HHS spokesman apologizes to staff for accusing government scientists of sedition

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Caputo on Tuesday apologized to staffers for a rant in which he accused career government scientists of "sedition" and working to undermine President Donald Trump, multiple sources familiar with the situation told CNN.

(CNN)Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Caputo on Tuesday apologized to staffers for a rant in which he accused career government scientists of "sedition" and working to undermine President Donald Trump, multiple sources familiar with the situation told CNN.

A source familiar with the matter said Caputo portrayed himself as a victim in his apology, but apologized for putting HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a bad light.

Caputo's status at HHS is uncertain at this point and he was already treading on thin ice at the agency before the revelations about his comments on Facebook, a second source familiar with the situation said.

The first source said Caputo did not bring up his future in the apology.

A third source familiar with the situation said Caputo is dealing with potential health issues that could force him to step aside.

A source close to the White House coronavirus task force said Azar has been unhappy for some time with Caputo as deputy secretary.

The source close to the White House said Caputo, who is a longtime Trump political operative, was forced upon Azar and the latest controversy likely won't help his standing with the secretary.

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