An expert on White House dynamics says Mark Meadows is by far the worst chief of staff in U.S. history.
Former aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified last week that Meadows seemed unconcerned about the insurrection taking place just blocks away at the U.S. Capitol, and author Chris Whipple, who has interviewed dozens of chiefs of staff, said that testimony cemented Donald Trump's lead staffer as the worst of all time, reported Business Insider.
"It used to be a fairly stiff competition for the worst chief of staff in history, but Meadows absolutely owns it," Whipple said.
Hutchinson told the House select committee that Meadows remained glued to his cell phone instead of asking the president to call off his supporters at the Capitol, and Whipple said that would be his lasting legacy.
"I used to think the defining lasting image of Mark Meadows would be mugging for Don Trump's Jr.'s video camera in the tent at the Ellipse right before Trump went out to incite a mob to attack the Capitol," Whipple said. "I now think the defining image of Meadows is the guy sitting on the couch in the White House chief's office scrolling through his phone while a violent mob attacks Capitol police that day."
Whipple had previously ranked H.R. Haldeman, Richard Nixon's chief of staff during the Watergate burglary and subsequent coverup, as the worst in American history, but he said Hutchinson's testimony had shaken up his ratings.
"The Watergate figures really look like choir boys compared to Trump, and Meadows, and their gang," Whipple said. "That was before now the most serious political scandal in American political history, but it pales in comparison to a president who sends an armed mob against the Capitol knowing that they are armed, knowing that there will be violence, and with a chief of staff who at best just shrugs and looks the other way and at worst was a co-conspirator."
Whipple, the author of "The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency," noted that Trump had cycled through more chief staffers in one term than any other president, but he found exactly what he wanted in Meadows.
"What he wanted is what he got ultimately in Mark Meadows, which is sycophant," Whipple said. "I think he was less a chief of staff than a kind of glad-handing maitre d' who tried to please Trump in every way, and, in fact, he told basically everybody what they wanted to hear, not just Trump. He was and is a spineless character and the polar opposite of the best chiefs."