The White House chief of staff in the Trump administration, Mr. Meadows was reportedly seen browsing through his phone as rioters approached the Capitol, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to him.
Mark Meadows Portrayed As Unwilling To Act As Jan. 6 Unfolded Through Testimony
On January 6, 2021, it was around 2 p.m. Mark Meadows was working alone in his West Wing office, browsing through his phone while sitting on a couch.
Supporters of President Donald J. Trump were demonstrating in front of the Capitol across from the White House against Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s Electoral College victory recognition.
Mark Meadows was instrumental in getting House Republicans to consider strategies for overturning Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
Inspiring House Republicans to look for ways to thwart Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election was a major contribution made by Mark Meadows.
“Chief, are you watching TV?” The White House chief of staff, Mr. Meadows, was questioned, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, a senior adviser to him. “The rioters are very close by. Do you speak with the president?
Mr. Meadows answered, no, while his eyes were glued to his phone. He said, “Mr. Trump wants to be alone right now.”
Ms. Hutchinson’s description of a chief of staff who was at best disengaged and at worst overwhelmed by the events around him was one of the most significant aspects of her public appearance on Tuesday at a hastily scheduled hearing by the House select committee looking into the Capitol riot and what caused it.
Ben Williamson, another Meadows aide, gave testimony before the House committee and offered a contrasting opinion, claiming that Mr. Meadows was receptive when Mr. Williamson raised a concern. In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Williamson argued that it was absurd to infer that the man didn’t care.
Ms. Hutchinson’s attorneys declared on Wednesday that she was struck by her testimony. Even without Ms. Hutchinson’s memories, though, Mr. Meadows’s former coworkers and those who interacted with him during the incident portrayed a picture of an ineffective chief of staff as a chaotic scene emerged at the Capitol.
However, Mr. Meadows quickly earned a reputation among many of his coworkers as someone who spoke without thinking, while the coronavirus outbreak raged and the economy that Mr. Trump took pleasure in tanked. According to former coworkers, he picked internal conflicts with aides he thought were not acting in accordance with his authority, criticized the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and fueled Mr. Trump’s displeasure by asking for increased mask mandates.
But rather than acting as a gatekeeper and restoring order to the disorganized West Wing, Mr. Meadows was frequently characterized by colleagues as being afraid of Mr. Trump’s rage and anxious to win him over.
On election night, Mr. Meadows and three other advisers rejected the proposal as ridiculous when Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, sought to persuade the president to proclaim victory before all the votes had been tallied. But after a few days, Mr. Meadows started sending messages to some of his former House colleagues.
On November 5, 2020, Representative Andy Biggs, who is a Republican from Arizona, proposed a strategy that encouraged legislatures in crucial states that Mr. Trump had lost to appoint the so-called alternate electors to send to Congress. Mr. Meadows responded, “I love it.”
Mr. Meadows informed Republican leader and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell that, despite Mr. Trump’s repeated public claims that the election was stolen from him, he would finally concede the victory.
And he sent information regarding election conspiracies to high-ranking members of the administration.
However, on December 18, 2020, Ivanka Trump was summoned to come downstairs from her office after he pleaded with her father to ask the rioters to stop. She did so, but it took her hours to be successful in that.
One of the most incriminating statements Ms. Hutchinson made about her former employer was that Mr. Meadows knew that things may turn “ugly” that day as Mr. Trump scheduled a rally that he tweeted would be “crazy.”
Ms. Hutchinson spoke to a different instance from her presentation on Capitol Hill that appeared to highlight Mr. Meadows’s readiness to comply with Mr. Trump’s demands.
She recalled getting a call from Ohio Representative Jim Jordan and using the phone to link him to Mr. Meadows.
She claimed that Mr. Meadows replied, “You heard him, Pat. Regarding Mr. Pence, Mr. Trump said, “He feels that Mike does deserve it. But He doesn’t believe that they are acting improperly.”
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