President Trump is reportedly furious with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for offering a dire assessment on his condition following his COVID-19 diagnosis on Saturday, which contradicted White House physician Sean Conley’s efforts to paint a rosy picture of Trump’s health earlier that day.
On Saturday, the Associated Press and the New York Times identified Meadows as the unnamed source who spoke to a pool of reporters after a medical briefing earlier that day.
“The President’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” Meadows told reporters, amid mixed messages from the Trump administration regarding the President’s health condition.
According to a CNN report on Sunday, citing two sources with knowledge of the situation, Trump did not receive Meadows’ remarks well.
One White House official told CNN that Trump is unhappy with Meadows, who is now viewed by Trump advisers as having damaged the credibility of recent medical briefings following the President testing positive for COVID-19.
CNN reported that a White House official said that Conley spoke with Trump before he appeared at a press briefing on Saturday, and noted that Conley is unlikely to say more than the President wants said.
CNN’s report was published shortly after Conley seemed to point fingers at the media when pressed during a briefing in front of Walter Reed on Sunday about the discrepancy between his and Meadows’ remarks regarding the status of Trump’s health, saying that the White House chief of staff’s remarks had been “misconstrued.”
“The chief and I work side by side, and I think his statement was misconstrued,” Conley said. “What he meant was that 24 hours ago when he and I were checking on the President, that there was that momentary episode of a high fever and that temporary drop in the saturation, which prompted us to act expediently to move him up here.”
Conley then added that Meadows issued his remarks during a “very transient limited episode.”
“Fortunately, that was really a very transient limited episode, a couple hours later he was back up. Mild again,” Conley said. “You know, we, I’m not going to speculate what that limited episode was about so early in the course but he’s doing well.”