Mark Meadows, American Judas

For as long as he’s been a public self-servant, the towel boy who served as Donald Trump’s fourth and last chief of staff has been a professional sleazebag. He’s no cartoon villain, mind you. If Meadows were a color, he’d be beige. Blessed with the pleasantly dishonest face of a swampland timeshare hustler, the former congressman, who once described himself as being a “fat nerd” as a kid, rarely says anything funny or compelling, unlike his Lord & Savior Donald H. Christ. Yet he forever manages to be controversial without actually being interesting, the sinisterness equivalent of a white noise machine…

Susan Glasser, who along with her husband Peter Baker, has written an upcoming book on the Trump presidency and its violent conclusion, additionally lanced the Meadows boil in The New Yorker, confessing that while reporting her book, she was often stumped by Meadows’ sometimes inscrutable duplicity. Entranced by his Oval Office access, Meadows would show off the call log on his iPhone to a reporter, just to prove he was speaking with “VIP POTUS.” Yet it was unclear, Glasser writes, whether “he was one of the responsible adults around Trump trying to land the plane safely,” or whether he was “one of the hijackers.” He acted less like “a gatekeeper than a door opener” for every crank and conspiracy theorist who wanted to see Trump. As one Republican in the White House’s orbit told Glasser, “Meadows was basically a matador. He’s sort of just let in anybody and everybody who wanted to come in.”…

“He would lie to people’s faces,” one White House official told Glasser and Baker. Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who was pushed out by Meadows, called him, “one of the worst people ever to enter the Trump White House,” saying that on a one-to-five scale of awfulness, “I’d give Mark Meadows a twelve.” Glasser writes that others called him “an absolute disaster” who played to “all the President’s worst instincts.” While a former Republican leadership aide, in the kind of obloquy usually reserved for Ted Cruz, told journalists Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman that Meadows was the most dishonest person they ever met at the Capitol, “convicted criminals included.”