In I Alone Can Fix It, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker's book on the final days of former President Donald Trump's time in office, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is portrayed as aghast at suggestions Trump just declare himself the winner of the election he lost.
But in fact Meadows was "a willing hub for conspiracy theories and false claims about the election" and "inextricably bound to the Jan. 6 attack, serving less as chief of staff than chief enabler to a president who was desperate to hold onto power," The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing interviews with former Trump allies and a 51-page report from the House Jan. 6 committee. The "central role" Meadows played in "Trump's efforts to overturn a democratic election is coming into focus as the congressional investigation into Jan. 6 gains traction," The New York Times agrees in a parallel report.
Meadows "didn't just hold Trump's coat while he led an insurrection or play feckless consigliere on a call with the Georgia secretary of state — he was deeply involved in efforts to overturn democracy," Chris Whipple, the author a book on White House chiefs of staff, tells the Post. "The chief of staff is, above all else, supposed to tell the president hard truths, and Meadows has just raised sycophancy to an art form."
Meadows was also the "key leader" of a group of six House GOP allies — Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and the "de facto sergeant," Scott Perry (R-Pa.) — who served as "key foot soldiers in Mr. Trump's effort to overturn the election," the Times reports. Meadows' role as "Trump's right-hand man helped to remarkably empower the group in the president's final, chaotic weeks in office."
In one Nov. 9, 2020, meeting at Trump campaign headquarters, the Times reports, Jordan, Perry, Meadows, Trump adviser Stephen Miller, campaign manager Bill Stepien, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany huddled and "settled on a strategy that would become a blueprint for Mr. Trump's supporters in Congress: Hammer home the idea that the election was tainted, announce legal actions being taken by the campaign, and bolster the case with allegations of fraud."