Breaking: Mark Meadows Texts Around January 6th Made Public
Former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows handed 2,319 text messages over to the January 6th Committee that he sent and received between Election Day 2020 and President Biden's January 20, 2021 inauguration.
The texts offer a behind-the-scenes look into the strategies and conversations by the Trump team in the months leading up to the January 6th Capitol riots. The texts connect Mark Meadows to many conspiracy theories that were circulating around that time, as well as conspiracies to block the peaceful transfer of power between administrations.
Who Was Meadows Talking To?
Leading Republicans involved in the texts include:
Donald Trump Jr.
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio
Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
White House and campaign officials
What’s In the Texts
The texts include everything from plans to fight the election results to Trump allies begging Trump to contain the Capitol riots. Most importantly, they bring light to the Trump team’s strategy to deflect blame over the Capitol riots.
Republicans Demand Trump Stop the Capitol Riots
Marjorie Taylor Greene, the outspoken conservative who had helped to plan the congressional objections leading up to the January 6th riots, texted Meadows begging for immediate help to stop the violence at the Capitol Building.
"Mark I was just told there is an active shooter on the first floor of the Capito.l Please tell the President to calm people. This isn't the way to solve anything," Greene wrote. Meadows did not reply.
Congresswoman Greene was not the only person to reach out to Meadows asking him to tell Trump to stop the January 6th riots.
"Mark: he needs to stop this, now. Can I do anything to help?" Mick Mulvaney, Trump's former acting White House chief of staff, texted Meadows.
"The president needs to stop this ASAP," texted GOP Rep. William Timmons of South Carolina. "We are doing it," Meadows replied to Timmons.
Laura Ingram texted Mark Meadows, "Hey Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home."
Ingram added, "This is hurting all of us," and, "He is destroying his legacy and playing into every stereotype...we lose all credibility against the BLM/Antifa crowd if this goes South."
Shortly after, Donald Trump Jr. weighed in: "This his(sic) one you go to the mattresses on. They will try to f*** his entire legacy on this if it gets worse."
Trump Jr. later followed up, "He's got to condemn this shit. ASAP. The capitol police tweet is not enough."
"TELL THEM TO GO HOME !!!" texted Trump's first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
Strategy to Deflect the Blame
Even though leading Republicans looked to President Trump to call off the rioters on January 6th, realizing the riots were incited by his rhetoric, they soon reversed course to try and deflect responsibility for the attack away from the President.
Shortly after pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol, one of Trump’s top aides began crafting a counter-narrative.
At 3:45 p.m. on January 6th, 2021, Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller suggested to Meadows and Trump aide Dan Scavino that Trump should tweet: "Call me crazy, but ideas for two tweets from POTUS: 1) Bad apples, likely ANTIFA or other crazed leftists, infiltrated today s peaceful protest over the fraudulent vote count. Violence is never acceptable! MAGA supporters embrace our police and the rule of law and should leave the Capitol now! 2) The fake news media who encouraged this summer's violent and radical riots are now trying to blame peaceful and innocent MAGA supporters for violent actions. This isn't who we are! Our people should head home and let the criminals suffer the consequences!"
Trump's allies in Congress appeared to get the message. At 3:52 p.m., Greene told Meadows: "Mark we don't think these attackers are our people. We think they are Antifa. Dressed like Trump supporters."
Five minutes later, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, texted Meadows: "Cap Police told me last night they'd been warned that today there'd be a lot of Antifa dressed in red Trump shirts & hats & would likely get violent.""Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I'm sorry nothing worked. I don't think that President Trump caused the attack on the Capitol. It's not his fault," she wrote the morning of January 7. "Absolutely no excuse and I fully denounce all of it, but after shut downs all year and a stolen election, people are saying that they have no other choice."
Meadows replied, "Thanks Marjorie."
Any Truth to the Trump Cover-Up?
In the 16 months since January 6, hundreds of indictments have shown nearly all of those who breached the Capitol were in fact pro-Trump supporters, not Antifa.
Leading Republicans also blamed Trump for the riots.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy had said during the House's January 13 impeachment debate that the outgoing President "bears responsibility" for the riot.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell denounced Trump from the floor of the Senate, saying the mob that attacked the Capitol was "provoked by the President and other powerful people."