President Donald Trump’s latest chief of staff hasn’t fully engaged in his new White House duties, as the coronavirus crisis claims hundreds of lives every day.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) hasn’t even resigned from Congress, and may have taken part in White House negotiations with senators over the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, reported NPR.
“I’m still a member of Congress,” Meadows said. “Mick Mulvaney is still the acting chief, officially.”
The president is trying to deal with a massive public health crisis that threatens millions of Americans, but he’s got one acting chief of staff — Mick Mulvaney — with one foot out the door, and another transitioning into the job while still working as a lawmaker.
Both Meadows and Mulvaney have also briefly been in self-quarantine after possible exposure to the coronavirus.
Meadows hasn’t voted on any bills — including the coronavirus relief package — since Trump tapped him as chief of staff three weeks ago in a tweet, and an aide said he intends to resign around the end of March.
The Constitution prohibits individuals from serving in Congress and the executive branch at the same time, but Meadows has been in and out of meeting at the White House this month.
Mulvaney is still on the job, but the three-week transition has seen coronavirus cases jump from several hundred to more than 60,000, and Trump has backed away from a social distancing campaign intended to halt the spread to signaling he wants the economy reopened soon.
There’s no indication either one of his part-time chiefs of staff have helped guide his decision-making, as would typically be the case in a White House.
Meadows would be Trump’s fourth chief of staff in three years.