White House chief of staff Mark Meadows publicly reassured establishment Republicans he would keep Donald Trump in check, while privately ushering conspiracy theorists into meetings with the former president.
The new book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021,” by New Yorker reporter Susan Glasser and New York Times reporter Peter Baker reveals that Meadows tried to tell both sides -- GOP leadership and fringe conspiracists -- what they wanted to hear in the weeks between the former president's election loss and the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“Meadows was basically a matador,” said Republican involved in discussions with the White House during that period. “He’s sort of just let in anybody and everybody who wanted to come in.”
A White House colleague said Meadows asked Republican leadership to give Trump space room to process his loss, but he was also facilitating efforts to overturn the 2020 results.
“Meadows admitted to people privately . . . ‘Trust me, I’m gonna get the president there, he’s going to drop this issue, just kind of give him time to mourn and grieve, and then he’s gonna come around,'" said the former colleague. “[Meanwhile] he was bringing crazies into the West Wing.”