EXCLUSIVE: Top Republican slams White house chief of staff for talking about Trump’s health, saying ‘whether the president is fit as a fiddle or on his death bed’ you’d need your ‘head examined’ for taking Mark Meadows’ medical advice
- A senior Republican questioned White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ handling of President Donald Trump’s medical situation
- ‘Anyone taking medical/psychological advice from the chief of staff or his communications team should have their head examined’
- ‘It is being handled badly,’ the person told DailyMail.com, ‘whether the president is fit as a fiddle or on his deathbed’
- Meadows on Saturday gave conflicting information on Trump’s health compared to what the medical team said in a public briefing
- Trump was reported to be furious at the move
‘Anyone taking medical/psychological advice from the chief of staff or his communications team should have their head examined,’ the senior Republican told DailyMail.com.
‘It is being handled badly,’ the person continued, ‘whether the president is fit as a fiddle or on his deathbed.’
The White House created confusion Saturday with conflicting statements on how the president is doing with Meadows drawing fire for contradicting the information given out by Trump’s medical team.
Trump’s personal physician Dr. Sean Conley said the president was doing ‘very well’ but Meadows told reporters after the briefing that Trump had a ‘very concerning’ situation on Friday and the next few days would be critical.
The contradictory information immediately raised questions about the seriousness of the president’s infection – he is a high-risk category due to his age and weight – and how transparent the White House was being with the health of the nation’s leader.
Adding to the image problem, Meadows, 61, originally asked to be identified a person familiar with the president’s condition when the quote was sent to the media via a pool report. But he was caught on camera talking to the small pool of reporters who follow the president on a daily basis outside of Walter Reed Medical Center, leading to him to be identified by name.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, seen sitting on the bench at a briefing on President Trump’s health by the medical team at Walter Reed on Sunday, has come under fire for his handling of the situation
Whit House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows gave contradicting information on President Trump’s health Saturday compared to what the medical team said; on Sunday, Meadows, above, did not make any public statements on Trump’s health
President Trump’s positive COVID diagnosis upended the White House and left many of his staff shell-shocked. The White House had perpetuated an untouchable image when it to combating the virus, arguing their testing measures meant staff and president alike were protected from the disease that has infected more than 7.41 million Americans.
Other Republicans have come out to criticize Meadows, who was a four-term conservative GOP congressman from North Carolina and top Trump ally on Capitol Hill when the president named his chief of staff.
Former House Speaker John Boehner described to Politico his interactions with Meadows when they were both in the House, calling him ‘schizophrenic.’
In 2013, Meadows helped plot a coup to try and overthrow Boehner as leader. When it failed, he begged the speaker for forgiveness, which Boehner granted. Then, in 2015, he voted against Boehner becoming speaker again.
‘Then he sends me the most gracious note you’ll ever read, saying what an admirable job I’ve done as speaker,’ Boehner told the newspaper. ‘I just figured he’s a schizophrenic.’
Also under question is Meadows’ motive in providing the alternative view of the president’s health, with a member of his hand-picked White House communication staff impling it was to keep the president at ease.
White House communications director Alyssa Farah indicated Conley’s positive comment about Trump doing well was directed to the president, who is known to watch the briefings, while Meadows wanted to give additional information in the name of being ‘transparent.’
‘The other point I would make, which is what [Conley] alluded to, is when you’re treating a patient, you want to project confidence, you want to lift their spirits and that was the intent. But of Chief of Staff Meadows came out to give you guys more information just to try to be as transparent as we can,’ she told reporters at the White House on Sunday.
White House communications director Alyssa Farah said on Sunday Dr. Conley was being publicly optimistic to keep President Trump’s spirits up while Mark Meadows was trying to be ‘transparent’
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has been sleeping at Walter Reed Medical Center, he accompanied President Trump to the hospital on Friday evening and is seen above watching the president exit Marine One upon their arrival
On Saturday, Meadows told reporters of the president: ‘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’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.’
Conley, earlier that day, standing in front of Walter Reed in his white coat with two rows of medical personnel behind him, painted a different picture.
‘This morning, the president is doing very well. The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. He’s been fever free for 24 hours and we are cautiously optimistic,’ he said.
He was asked about the differences when he briefed reporters on Sunday.
‘I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team, that the president, that his course of illness has had,’ he said.
He also seemed indicate he was trying to keep the president’s spirits up when he added that he ‘didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, came off like we’re trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.’
Trump was furious at Meadows over the botched message, CNN reported, with concerns the chief of staff has undermined the credibility of the medical briefings.
Meadows, who has been sleeping at Walter Reed hospital, was seen at Conley’s briefing on Sunday seated to one side, his head in his hands.
He went on Fox News Saturday night to deliver a different message. President Trump is known to be a regular viewer of the cable news network.
‘He’s probably one of the hardest-working men that I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing,’ he said of the president. ‘I can say this, that the doctor is exactly right. He is doing extremely well. In fact, I’m very, very optimistic, based on the current results.’
The White House on Saturday released a photo of President Donald Trump working in Walter Reed
After the conflicting quotes on Saturday, the White House released photos of President Trump working in Walter Reed’s presidential suite and posted a video of the president, where he said the next couple of days would be crucial
‘I just want to tell you that I’m starting to feel good,’ he said in the short video. ‘You don’t know over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test. So, we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days.’