Former White House
Chief of Staff Mark Meadows
claimed in a Newsmax interview
on Friday that he has been meeting with former President Donald Trump
and "Cabinet members" to discuss plans to "move forward in a real way."
Meadows insisted that Trump is "a president who is fully engaged, highly focused, and remaining on task," continuing to refer to Trump and his former Cabinet with present-tense verbs.
“We met with several of our Cabinet members tonight, and we actually had a follow-up meeting with some of our Cabinet members, and... we’re looking at what happens next,” Meadows said.
“I'm not authorized to speak on behalf of the president, but I can tell you this: We wouldn't be meeting tonight unless we were making real plans to move forward, with President Trump at the top of that ticket
,” he added.
Meadows' comments shook some people
, especially given the tenacity with which extremist Trump supporters
, such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell
, continue to spread the lie that the former president will be reinstated next month.
“I can’t stop thinking about this interview,” New York Times
White House correspondent Maggie Haberman
tweeted on Saturday. “The former chief of staff is speaking as if there is a shadow presidency
going on (there isn’t) at a time when there is a conspiracy theory
that Trump will be reinstated (he won’t).”
I can't stop thinking about this interview, in which the former chief of staff talks as if there's a shadow presidency going on (there isn't), at a time when there's a conspiracy theory that Trump will be reinstated (he won't), and Trump has urged some advisers to keep saying it. — Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 31, 2021
Meadows told Newsmax that “the magic is still there” with Trump, dismissing Trump’s failed endorsement of Susan Wright
, who was defeated in a Republican
runoff in a House special election
are difficult,” Meadows said, adding that a Trump endorsement retains “unbelievable power, perhaps at historic levels.”
Earlier this week, Trump attempted to spin his failed pick as a win, saying, "I don't want to claim it's a loss, this was a win."
Meadows' entire interview can be seen in the video above.