President Donald Trump's final chief of staff, former Rep. Mark Meadows was one of the worst enablers of the president's "delusion and conspiracies," wrote former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in her new book.
According to one of the many stories in I'll Take Your Questions Now, Grisham described Meadows as the worst of the White House chiefs because he "nursed Trump's worst instincts," particularly when it came to COVID-19.
"It looked to me that Mark Meadows was milking" Trump's delusion and conspiracy "for all it was worth. Why? Probably because that was how he stayed in power."
She said that there was a list of sycophants like Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL). She described Gaetz as one of the worst. Any time they needed someone to go on television and defend Trump or needed someone to stroke Trump's ego or fluff his insecurity, Gaetz was ready to go.
"One of them told [Trump] that he could not wear a mask in public because it would show weakness and piss off the base, and everyone else blindly agreed," wrote Grisham. "Because they probably knew what he wanted to hear, they encouraged him to be tough, which meant not showing empathy for the millions of people who were sick or afraid."
It's unknown who that person was, but one study published Sept. 2021 explained that the "evidence that state-level mask mandates reduced new weekly COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions, and deaths significantly in the US. The results imply that 87,000 lives were saved up until 19 December 2020, while an additional 58,000 lives could have been saved if all states had put in place a mandate starting in April 2020."
Grisham said that she thinks if Trump had behaved differently many of America's dead could have been saved.
Her comment matches some of the same things Trump's niece, Dr. Mary Trump, echoed in her conversations about her latest book.
"He doesn't understand dignity. He doesn't understand tragedy," said Dr. Trump in an interview last month. "He doesn't understand anything that doesn't pertain directly to him. And he will always push the envelope as long as he's allowed to. And this is the problem here. He's always allowed to. He's always allowed to get away with it. So, you and I might think it's bizarre behavior because it is for any decent human being, but one, he's not a decent human being and, two, where's the pushback? Nobody raised their voices on his side of the aisle against that appearance so he will continue to get away with whatever he can get away with as long as they let him."
Grisham's book is on sale today and you can read more coverage of it here.