Meadows: My Texts Were 'Selectively Leaked'

He accuses House panel of 'weaponizing' them as fallout continues over Jan. 6 development
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2021 2:02 PM CST
Meadows: My Texts Were 'Selectively Leaked'
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters outside the White House, Oct. 26, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The fallout continues over Monday night's surprise development in the investigation of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. GOP Rep. Liz Cheney read texts that were sent by Donald Trump Jr. and three Fox News hosts to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as the riot was unfolding. All urged Meadows to get the president to try to call off the rioters. Example: "He's got to condemn this sh-- Asap," Trump's son texted. The texts were among the documents Meadows turned over to the House panel investigating the riot before he stopped cooperating. More:

  • Meadows: He appeared on the conservative Newsmax site Monday night and suggested the texts were being taken out of context, reports the Hill. "We've tried very hard, in a very transparent and accommodating way, to share nonprivileged information," Meadows said. "And what we found out tonight is that not only did that just get disregarded, but then they tried to weaponize text messages, selectively leaked them, to put out a narrative, quite frankly, that the president didn't act."

  • Big moment: At Axios, Mike Allen calls the texts an "electrifying moment" for the investigative panel. Allen's take: "It's clear that, whatever they say now, Trump allies knew in the moment that 1/6 was a calamity for Trump and the country."
  • A counter: In the Washington Examiner, Byron York makes the case that the significance is being overblown. "The bottom line is there is much less to the texts story than the critics would have you believe," he writes. "Of course, don't look for those critics to admit that. Some of them have been attacking Fox for years and are not going to stop now. Before you accept their spin, take a look at what Ingraham and the others actually said." (More on that below.)
  • Differing views: Fox host Laura Ingraham texted Meadows during the riot: "Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy." York and Aaron Blake of the Washington Post have polar-opposite views on whether Ingraham is guilty of hypocrisy based on her comments about the riot later that night. Blake's view is here, and York's view is here.
  • Criticism: Chris Cillizza at CNN weighs in as well. "What's truly remarkable is that that isn't even the worst thing that these texts reveal," he writes. "The worst thing is this: Even knowing what they said to Trump on January 6 about the severity of what was happening, many of these same people have spent the last year doing their damndest to downplay it all—arguing that the whole thing was overblown by the media and its Democratic enablers."
  • From the right: Twitchy rounds up tweets from Mollie Hemingway arguing that the texts puncture the Democrats' argument that Republicans were conspiring to keep Trump in office. She sums up, sarcastically, in the voice of Democrats: "We claimed there was a conspiracy to take over the government but our evidence shows the opposite: MAGA people urged POTUS to make a statement and then .... HE DID! Jail them all!"
(More Mark Meadows stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.