Where Things Stand: Meadows Told Resigning WH Aide To Stick Around, Trump Wasn’t Leaving

This is your TPM evening briefing.
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 08: White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah talks briefly with reporters outside the West Wing October 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. Farah said that the campaign wants a second preside... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 08: White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah talks briefly with reporters outside the West Wing October 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. Farah said that the campaign wants a second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden but that it would have to be in-person and not virtual. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin resigned from the White House after Trump lost the election. But when she informed then-chief of staff Mark Meadows of her impending departure, he told her to stick around.

That’s all according to her interview with CNN Tuesday following the Jan. 6 Committee’s latest hearing. Griffin has become a staple on CNN during the hearings and even provided the panel with a taped deposition as part of their probe. She’s also, apparently, a close friend of the committee’s star witness Cassidy Hutchinson, who turned the committee’s investigation on its head when she volunteered to testify publicly. Her testimony shocked legal and political observers alike, providing a firsthand account of damning behind-the-scenes information on not just Trump’s culpability in the the violent attack on the Capitol last year, but also some of his closest officials and allies.

Like Meadows.

Here’s what Griffin told CNN yesterday.

“I suspect it was Mark Meadows,” Griffin offered on CNN when the panel was discussing who might’ve let the group of outside Trump allies into the White House on the day of that chaotic December 18, 2020 meeting.

“And I say that because I can tell you before I resigned, I said, ‘Sir, I’m planning to move on — I want to put in my notice.’ And he said to me, ‘What if I could tell you we’re actually going to be staying?'” she said. “You can interpret that as hypothetical, but there were people around the president telling him that, and that’s what led to this absolute insanity.”

As Griffin suggests, yes, it could’ve been a hypothetical, off-hand remark or even a dumb joke on Meadows’ part. But coupled with what Hutchinson revealed about Meadows’ behavior on Jan. 6, it’s concerning at best.

During her testimony last month, Hutchinson recounted multiple interactions she had with Meadows on the days leading up to and on Jan. 6. During a January 2, 2021 conversation with Rudy Giuliani, Hutchinson recalled America’s mayor telling her that Jan. 6 was “going to be great,” and that “the President’s going to be there, he’s going to look powerful.”

When Hutchinson asked Meadows wtf Rudy was talking about, Meadows said: “There’s a lot going on, Cass, I don’t know. Things might get real real bad on Jan. 6,” Hutchinson recalled.

Meadows had a similarly apathetic response to a Secret Service briefing he received on Jan. 6, in which a Secret Service official told Meadows about the array of weapons Trump supporters were carrying heading toward the Capitol. Hutchinson recalled that Meadows didn’t look up from his phone during the briefing and only responded saying: “All right, anything else?”

He had a similar reaction when then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone demanded that he speak to Trump after the rioters had breached the Capitol that day. “He doesn’t want to do anything, Pat,” Meadows responded — at best cementing his passivity toward the violence that day into the history books.

In Griffin’s telling, at least, it may have been more than simple passivity.

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

Best indictment of the day: Minnesota Man Indicted After Setting Own Camper On Fire And Blaming BLM And Antifa

Women Who Defied Trump Made A Secret Support Group

Lauren Boebert’s Ex-Campaign Manager Was Involved In Voting Machine Plot

Pennsylvania Officials Sue Rogue Counties For Refusing To Certify Election

In case you missed it, from Kate Riga this morning: After Roe’s Fall, Abortion Fight Shifts To State Constitutions

HHS: Fed Law Says Pharmacies Must Fill Contraception, Abortion Pill Rx

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

The Backstory On Fox News Guest Jeffrey Tucker — David Kurtz

What We Are Reading

Newsmax’s Greg Kelly: Hey, Maybe Trump Just ‘Butt Dialed’ the Jan. 6 Witness — Justin Baragona

Florida Gov. DeSantis takes aim at what he sees as indoctrination in schools — Greg Allen

Missouri Senate candidate Lucas Kunce said Democrats must deliver on abortion rights instead of continuing to treat it only as a campaign issue — Kimberly Leonard 

Latest Editors' Blog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: