Where Things Stand: Mark Meadows’ ‘Biggest Concern’

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 03: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows listens as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. Oil com... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 03: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows listens as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. Oil companies have been negatively impacted by both the effects of coronavirus and from foreign pressures caused by Russia and Saudi Arabia in the oil markets. (Photo by Doug Mills-The New York Times-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 27, 2020 11:57 a.m.
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In what appears to be an attempt to contradict a recent report in the New York Times — that President Trump spends his days eating french fries and obsessing over the TV — newly minted chief-of-staff Mark Meadows told the New York Post this weekend that his “biggest concern” as a top White House official is making sure Trump eats lunch.

“I can tell you that the biggest concern I have as a new chief of staff is making sure he gets some time to get a quick bite to eat,” Meadows told the Post, pushing the narrative that Trump works around-the-clock and often doesn’t take time to properly nourish himself. “I can tell you that he will go back in and have a lunch just off the Oval Office and more times than not it is interrupted by several phone calls. … If he gets more than 10 minutes of time in a given day, I haven’t seen in the five weeks I’ve been here.”

As chief of staff, Meadows is, of course, allowed to paint whatever version of the President he sees fit. While the fixation on Trump not eating is odd, it’s beside the point. If the White House hopes to convey that Trump is so busy he barely has time to fill basic human needs, someone should consider putting a lock on his Twitter account.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re follow today:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Kate Riga is looking into calls from Kelli Ward, the conspiracy theorist and chair of the Arizona Republican Party, for stay-at-home protesters to wear scrubs and other medical worker outfights in order to confuse the media.

Matt Shuham just published a fact-check on President Trump’s claims that he hasn’t left the White House in “months.”

Tierney Sneed is covering news out of the Supreme Court that the court is unsure whether the judicial branch has the authority to settle oversight disputes between Congress and the White House over subpoenas for Trump’s tax returns.

Josh Kovensky is working on a piece about efforts to trace the first community spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

President Trump has denied reports that he is considering firing his Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, which many speculate means the top health chief will soon be booted. We’ll keep an eye on this.

More Republican allies are publicly urging Trump to stop talking so much during the daily press briefings. On Monday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suggested it would be best if Trump only spoke for 15 minutes before handing the briefing over to the vice president. In recent weeks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made similar remarks.

Today’s Rundown

2:00 p.m. ET: Trump will hold a video conference with governors about reopening the economy.

4:00 p.m. ET: Trump will meet with industry executives to discuss the administration’s coronavirus response.

The White House’s usual coronavirus task force briefing was cancelled today.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Where Things Stand: How Will We Even Begin To Explain This? — Nicole Lafond

What We Are Reading

The Art Of Making Do (And Emergency AirPod Retrieval) — Naomi Fry

Methadone Delivered Direct To Homeless And Other Isolated New Yorkers — Greg Smith

Chicago West Side Hospital Is So Full, Coronavirus Patients Are Intubated Outside The ICU — Pascal Sabino

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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