Meadows’ Texts Reveal Donald Trump Jr. and Several GOP Members Urged Trump To Halt Jan 6 Violence

Newly disclosed messages detailing former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ correspondence with Donald Trump Jr. and other GOP members during the Jan 6 Capitol riots provides a new perspective into Republicans’ reactions.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) aired a series of texts at a panel meeting on Monday that showed Donald Trump Jr. and several Fox News hosts had contacted former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as the Jan 6, 2020 Capitol riot unfolded in Washington D.C.

The unveiling of the telling texts precedes Tuesday’s House vote to hold criminal contempt charges against Meadows, who, after initially agreeing to cooperate with a subpoena issued by the panel, backtracked, following in the footsteps of longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon who defied his subpoena outright.

The messages from Trump Jr., in particular, point to a contrast between the GOP’s public response to insurrection’s severity versus certain closed-door opinions. Since the Jan 6 attack, Trump Jr., along with many other GOP members, have dismissed its violence and egregiousness, downplaying it in the media and to the former president’s supporters. In one message to Meadows, Trump Jr. wrote, “He’s got to condemn this sh*t ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet isn’t enough.” He continued in another text to Meadows, “We need an Oval office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand.”

Trump Jr.’s repeated correspondence with Meadows is one of many: According to the new texts, several unnamed lawmakers and Fox News personalities shared his sentiment, imploring Meadows to convince Trump to take immediate action. The committee publicly released graphics on Monday, displaying some of these text messages: one reads, “Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol, breaking windows on doors, rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?”

Fox News commentator Brian Kilmeade urged, “Please get him on tv. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” while Laura Ingraham wrote, “Hey Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home … this is hurting all of us … he is destroying his legacy.”

After reading the messages aloud, Cheney observed, “We cannot be satisfied with incomplete answers or half truths,” adding, “And we cannot surrender to President Trump’s efforts to hide what happened.”

The messages offer another iteration of technology influencing MAGA supporters’ downfall, as self-incriminating video, messages, and photos from Jan 6 have led to a number of criminal sentences.

As the impending House vote on Meadows’ contempt charges continues to unfold, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he “was not” in contact with Meadows on Jan 6, CNN reported, while White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the newly released texts “disappointing” during a press conference.

“January 6th was without precedence,” Cheney said during the Rules Committee meeting on Tuesday. “There has been no stronger case in our nation’s history for a congressional investigation into the actions of a former president. We must investigate the facts in detail, and we are entitled to ask Mr. Meadows about the non-privileged materials he has produced to us.”