The White House “friend” said Meadows had a “nervous breakdown” on January 6

Former Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview Friday that a “friend” in the White House noted during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot that Trump’s then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was incompetent and had “nervous breakdown” when chaos occurs just blocks away.

During an interview with CBS News, Mulvaney — who served as acting White House chief of staff from January 2019 to March 2020 before Meadows succeeded him — expressed confidence in the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, Meadows’ former aide. who late last month gave bombshell testimony to the House committee investigating the riot.

Mulvaney said that while Hutchinson was testifying before the committee, where she alleged that former President Donald Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his SUV while demanding to be driven to the Capitol on Jan. 6, he texted a friend, who was in the West Wing on January 6.

“I said, ‘If I listen carefully to Cassidy, it sounds like Mark was either completely incompetent at the job or having a nervous breakdown,’ and the person who texted was, ‘A little bit of both,'” Mulvaney said during the interview.

“So you kind of get the impression that things have really fallen apart and Mark Meadows as chief of staff – which is a critical position, especially at these critical times – has completely given up,” he added.

Hutchinson, during her testimony in June, spoke of the irritation she felt at Meadows’ lack of urgency when the Capitol was searched.

“I’m starting to get frustrated because I felt like I was watching a bad car accident that was going to happen where you can’t stop it, but you wish you could do something,” she said at the time. “I remember thinking at that point, ‘Mark needs to get out of this, and I don’t know how to get him out of this, but he needs to care.’

Mulvaney, who also served in the House from 2011 to 2017 and as special envoy to Northern Ireland from May 2020 to January 2021, reiterated during the CBS interview that it appears Meadows is not on top of the unfolding situation in the Capitol.

“My words were: Was Mark having a nervous breakdown? he was either that incompetent to answer, or a bit of both. That would explain much of the collapse in the West Wing,” the former MP said.

Mick Mulvaney

Former Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images

When Mulvaney was he asked what his “tipping point” was as a longtime Trump supporter, he said of Hutchinson’s testimony to the panel.

“For the past year, I’ve been defending the president about how I didn’t believe his actions on Jan. 6 were criminal,” he said. “I didn’t specifically believe that he caused a riot. I left because I think he failed to be president when we needed him to be.”

“But I was defending him from the criminal activity charges until Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony. Again, I know her. She works for me. There’s no reason for him to lie. If he goes and says the president knew he had guns, that makes me scratch my head,” he added.

Despite his high regard for Hutchinson, however, Mulvaney said he “wasn’t a big fan” at the Jan. 6 hearings.

“I thought they should have let the Republicans put the people on the committee that they should have — that Jim Jordan should be there, that Andy Biggs should be there. And that Nancy Pelosi was wrong to rule them out. It violated the customs and history of the United States House of Representatives,” he said.

“I’ve never been a fan of this committee and I’ve always thought it was wrong for Liz [Cheney] and Adam Kinzinger to continue there. For this reason, whenever Liz speaks, I don’t believe it. I refuse to believe the interpretation of the facts,” he added.

Last year, House Speaker Pelosi rejected Jordan, an Ohio congressman, from joining the panel on Jan. 6 after he raised objections to the results of the 2020 presidential election. Biggs, an Arizona lawmaker, called the committee “illegitimate.”

Cheney and Kinzinger were named to the commission starting Jan. 6, becoming the only Republican members.

Mulvaney later said that despite his misgivings about the committee, he could not ignore the compelling sworn testimony from a fellow Republican.

“When a Republican takes the oath of office and says something about a Republican president trying to overturn an election, I pay attention to that,” he said. “When Republicans come forward and say that other Republicans may have broken the law, I think all Republicans should pay attention to that.” In fact, I think everyone should.”

Insider has reached out to Meadows for comment.

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