Top HHS official takes leave of absence after online rant

Trump appointee Michael Caputo is taking temporary medical leave from the Department of Health and Human Services after going on a rant online in which he accused government scientists of “sedition.”
2:50 | 09/16/20

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Transcript for Top HHS official takes leave of absence after online rant
Tonight, after that alarming rant by a top trump official at the department of health and human services, he's now taking a leave of absence, telling trump supporters, "If you carry guns, buy ammunition." He also said my mental health is definitely failing. Here's our chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl tonight. Reporter: The embattled head of communications for the agency leading the trump administration's response to coronavirus is taking a leave of absence, days after a bizarre Facebook rant where he urged trump supporters to prepare for armed insurrection and talked about his own health problems. My health is failing, my mental health is definitely failing. I don't like being alone in Washington. The shadows on the ceiling in my apartment there alone, those shadows are so long. Reporter: The video, which was posted on Facebook Sunday, had been deleted and was obtained today and by Yahoo! And "The Buffalo news." In his rant, Michael Caputo, a long-time trump loyalist, described several debunked dark conspiracy theories, accusing scientists at the center for disease control of sedition. The partisan Democrats, the conjugal media and the scientists, the deep state scientists, want America sick through November. Reporter: He predicted a violent conclusion of the presidential election, without providing evidence, warning of left wing hit squads. If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it's going to be hard to get. Reporter: And civil war. This is war. Joe Biden is not going to concede. When Joe Biden loses, they will try to steal it. Reporter: The day after he posted that video on Facebook, HHS defended Caputo, calling him "A critical, integral part of the president's coronavirus response." Caputo and his team had been under fire after reports they pressured scientists at the CDC to change their weekly reports on the pandemic, to put them more in line with the president's message. Today, the head of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, told congress he was saddened by the accusations and declared them absolutely untrue. Redfield also insisted there has been no political interference with the CDC's weekly covid-19 At no time has the scientific integrity of the mmwr been compromised. Reporter: Caputo recently had a potential cancer diagnosis. He put out a statement today, saying he's taking time off to deal with that. In a statement, he made a point of thanking Dr. Fauci for conferring with his doctor about his condition. He said that he had learned a lot from the doctors on the coronavirus task force and, David, he added, "Sometimes we disagree, but we work in unity to defeat the virus and we care for one another." David? Jon Karl tonight. Jon, thank you. We continue to follow the

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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