Donald Trump addresses crowd in Sioux City, Iowa in 2016. (Shutterstock.com)
Donald Trump’s former acting chief of staff revealed a potentially damning text message to his successor that reveals the ex-president was not actually interested in learning whether he legitimately lost, but instead was claiming fraud to hold onto power.
Mick Mulvaney, who served as acting White House chief of staff and budget director, testified before the Jan. 6 committee but said only portions of his interview were used in public hearings, and he told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he had offered Mark Meadows some advice in late November 2020 to help Trump leave office with dignity after claiming he’d been cheated.
“What I was looking for is ideas to give to Meadows, to give to the president about sort of ways to honorably get out of office, to leave office honorably and peacefully without having things get out of control,” Mulvaney said. “One of the things he could have done was create a bipartisan commission saying, ‘Look, I’m leaving — I understand the election has been certified, but there’s a lot of folks who still are unsure about some of the things about the election, [so] I’m going to do a truly bipartisan commission, I’m going to do an executive order, and even though i’ll be gone out of office, that commission will continue to be able to have the ability to do the investigations they need to do.'”
Mulvaney had compared the proposed commission to the Warren commission established by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and he told Meadows that he doubted Joe Biden would undo Trump’s executive order authorizing the panel.
“Sort of a Jan. 6 committee, but sort of one that is actually bipartisan,” Mulvaney said. “I thought that was a face-saving opportunity for the president, which is why I shared it with Mark Meadows. I wasn’t communicating directly with the president at that time. I was hoping that idea got to him.”
Mulvaney said it’s now clear to him why the White House disregarded his suggestion.
“If they had really been interested in getting to the bottom of what happened, I think they might have taken that advice,” he said. “In hindsight I think now it looks like the president wasn’t interested in actually getting to the bottom as much as he was overturning the results.”
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