Top aide ‘consolidated power’ and excluded Mike Pence from meetings as Trump pushed his ‘big lie’: report
Donald Trump, Mike Pence (Photo via AFP)

On Tuesday, writing for The New Yorker as an excerpt for her upcoming book with Peter Baker, Susan Glasser detailed how former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows gradually tried to push then-Vice President Mike Pence out of White House meetings as he assumed control of former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

"Over the next two months, as Trump pursued his 'rigged election' claims, Meadows further consolidated power in the White House, eventually excluding Vice-President Pence from meetings he had once attended as a matter of course," wrote Glasser. "'Meadows really tried to separate Pence from Trump for the last couple months,' a White House official noted."

According to the report, Meadows "played both sides," telling various parties within the Trump administration different accounts of what he was doing.

"He reassured Barr that Trump would leave office while personally pressing to overturn results in key states and pressuring Cabinet officials," said the report. "On December 21st, he attended a meeting with his former colleagues from the Freedom Caucus at the Oval Office, where the lawmakers strategized with Meadows and Trump over how to block Pence from carrying out his constitutional duty to preside over the counting of the electoral votes that would finalize Trump’s defeat."

READ: ‘Cutthroat infighter’: New book reveals how Meadows ‘told both sides what they wanted to hear’ during coup attempt

"On January 6th, Meadows was bombarded with text messages and calls urging him to stop the storming of the Capitol — an action that he helped foment," the report noted. "Even Don, Jr., who had also promoted the election lies, frantically urged Meadows to get his father to turn down the temperature. 'He’s got to condemn this sh*t Asap,' he texted the chief of staff. 'The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.'"

Last week, the Justice Department declined to charge Meadows with contempt of Congress, as he had at least cooperated with the January 6 Committee to a greater extent than other members of Trump's inner circle including Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro.

You can read more here.