Nobody around Donald Trump could trust his chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to a forthcoming book by renowned journalists Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.
Glasser previewed the book, The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, in her "Letter from Biden's Washington" column published online on Tuesday evening.
"In recent months, Donald Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff has emerged as the source of damning revelations that have enabled the committee to piece together the extraordinary events which unfolded after Trump lost the 2020 election and, rather than conceding defeat, orchestrated an unprecedented attempt to subvert the results in order to remain in power. Before Meadows abruptly stopped cooperating with the panel, last year, he handed over thousands of text messages, which show Trump at the center of the far-reaching plot to take his election challenge beyond where any previous President had before," Glasser wrote.
She explained a key question on Meadows that kept coming up as she co-wrote the book, the couple's third.
"Was he seeking to get the country to Joe Biden’s Inauguration, despite the efforts of an increasingly unhinged President, or was he a charter member of the plot? Was he one of the responsible adults around Trump trying to land the plane safely, as General Mark Milley had put it, or was he one of the hijackers? Many times over the past few months, while writing a book with my husband, Peter Baker, about Trump’s Presidency and contemplating its violent, hardly-to-be-believed end, I got stuck on this question," she explained.
Glasser revealed that in the book, she writes with her husband "that Meadows played a double game the likes of which has rarely been seen, even in the swamps of Washington. He told both sides what they wanted to hear. He reassured establishment Republicans that he was trying to keep the President from going too far. At the same time, he gave conspirators access to the Oval Office to whisper their 'you really won, don’t give up' fantasies to the defeated President. (A spokesperson for Meadows declined to comment on the record for this article.) Meadows acted less as a gatekeeper than as a door opener."
As Meadows was seeking to reassure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Attorney General Bill Barr that Trump wouldn't go too far, he was telling Ginni Thomas it was "a fight of good versus evil."
They wrote that "once he quit Congress and took over Trump’s perpetually fractious team, his new colleagues found him to be a cutthroat infighter determined to consolidate power."
The two compared Meadows to previous Trump chiefs of staff Reince Priebus, John Kelly, and Mick Mulvaney.
"Meadows, however, appeared to be more Trump than Trump, not only enabling but actively facilitating and orchestrating the former President’s most reckless pursuits—and connecting with Trump’s disruptive approach in a way his predecessors did not," the two wrote. "To many of his new colleagues, Meadows quickly came across as duplicitous and untrustworthy."
Previously, the two co-authored the 2005 book Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution and the 2020 book The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III. Their new book is set to be released on Sept. 20.
Read the full report.