It’s All Meadows Texts All The Time

INSIDE: Jeffrey Clark ... Sean Hannity ... Kevin McCarthy
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the media at the White House in Washington, DC, October 21, 2020. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

What A Week

TPM’s series on the Meadows Texts continues to be the dominant news story of the week. A big shoutout to the entire TPM team for the hard work and long hours required to pull this off. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort. Special kudos to lead reporter Hunter Walker and lead editor John Light.

Let’s dive right into the past 24 hours of coverage.

The Latest On The Meadows Texts

The two newest installments in our ongoing series:


Hunter Walker was on last night with Chris Hayes, who is just as into the Meadows Texts as we are:

TPM On The Radio

Josh Kovensky talks with Atlanta NPR station WABE. Listen.

So Much More TV Coverage!

Morning Joe marvels over the Meadows Texts:

Joy Reid talks about the Meadows Texts with Asha Rangappa:

Ari Melber goes deeper on the Meadows Texts:

Lawrence O’Donnell zeroes in on our coverage of Rudy Giuliani’s appearance in the Meadows Texts:

More Reactions!

Harry Litman: “Don’t ask don’t tell how @TPM got its hands on the Meadows texts, but they’ve performed a real public service. The texts are totally damning and show not just Meadows but lawmakers (34 of them!) and others all willingly conspiring in the Big Lie attempted coup. Utterly shameful.”

Joyce Vance: “The burdens of proof are different in courts of law & the court of public opinion. Whether any of these members of Congress are ever prosecuted, the text messages are compelling evidence there were elected officials willing to disregard the Constitution to hold power.”

Jonathan Chait: “Text messages to and from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows around the time of the January 6 insurrection, obtained by Talking Points Memo, confirm the impression. Meadows and his allies in Congress truly believed the election was stolen and truly believed they could and should steal it back. In these messages, Republicans can be seen over and over again repeating wild conspiracy theories about voting machines …”


Not everyone is happy with our series on the Meadows Texts:

  • Here’s former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark — you remember the guy Trump wanted to install as acting attorney general to complete all the couping — seeming to go after TPM’s Josh Kovensky for his “ties to Ukraine.” (Before coming to TPM, Kovensky wrote for the English-language Kyiv Post.)
  • Sean Hannity was very not happy about being contacted for a Meadows Texts story:

We Have Memes!

Local Coverage Of The Meadows Texts

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Texts show Georgia Republicans sharing election conspiracy theories to aid Trump”

City & State PA: “A timeline of Scott Perry’s texts following the 2020 election”

The Deepest Cuts On the Meadows Texts

Sarah Posner: “Newly revealed texts between Allen and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, published while the hearing was in progress, dramatically show how deeply Christian nationalist ideology runs through the Republican Party, and how it continues to underlie Republicans’ ongoing denial that Jan. 6 was a violent attempt to overthrow the government.”

Greg Sargent:

And text messages from House Republicans to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, unearthed by Talking Points Memo, show members of Congress scheming in the run-up to Jan. 6 to overturn Trump’s loss in all kinds of ways, with one even calling for Trump to declare martial law.

What all this means is that the insurrectionist spirit will run strong in next year’s GOP-controlled House, which would be likely to try to help with any effort by Trump — or an imitator — to subvert the 2024 presidential election. Under current law, if a GOP-controlled state legislature appointed electors for the Republican nominee in defiance of the state’s popular vote, the GOP House could count those electors, leading to a stolen election or constitutional crisis.

Jack Smith On The Case

CNN confirms: “Smith’s team has now sent subpoenas to local and state officials in all seven of the key states – Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – targeted by former President Donald Trump Trump and his allies as part of their bid to upend Joe Biden’s legitimate victory.”

Forgot About This One

How could I forget! Former Trump official Peter Navarro is still facing contempt of Congress charges. His trial is now scheduled to begin Jan. 30.

Good Reads

Boston Globe: “Like a plot from ‘The Americans’: An alleged Russian smuggling ring found in N.H. town” 

Daily Beast: “Inside the Jury Room for the Trump Org Criminal Trial”

NYT: “Trump Organization Was Held in Contempt After Secret Trial Last Year”

The Ritualistic Defenestration Of Kevin McCarthy

If not for the Meadows Texts, the wraithing of Kevin McCarthy would be can’t-stop-watching story of the week.

Politico: “Come on down? House GOP weighs the right price to topple a speaker”

CNN: “McCarthy’s impossible GOP math”

NYT: “Despite Trump’s Lobbying, McCarthy’s Speaker Bid Remains Imperiled on the Right”

CNN: McCarthy Snaps At CNN Reporter

Receding Into The Past

The new official portrait of Nancy Pelosi unveiled yesterday at the Capitol:

The U.S. Postal Service will honor the late John Lewis with a new commemorative stamp:

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo
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: