Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s former acting White House chief of staff, says that a “friend” who was in the White House on 6 January 2021 told him Mark Meadows was “a little bit of both” incompetent and having a “nervous breakdown” during the Capitol riot.
Speaking with CBS News on Friday, Mr Mulvaney discussed the January 6 select committee testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, aide to Mr Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff at the end of his presidency, as well as then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
He said he trusted the testimony of Ms Hutchinson, who worked for him, and said what she told the committee rang true.
Asked what he thought was happening with Mr Meadows on January 6, Mr Mulvaney said that he had Ms Hutchinson’s testimony that the chief of staff was completely disengaged, before adding that he had texted with a friend who was in the West Wing during the Capitol riot.
“I said, if I listen to Cassidy closely, it sounds like Mark was either completely incompetent at the job or was having a nervous breakdown, and the person texted back it was a little bit of both,” Mr Mulvaney said.
He continued to say that it sounded like things had “completely broken down” and that the chief of staff is a “critical” position at such moments, but Mr Meadows appeared to have “checked out entirely”.
While Mr Mulvaney said he defended Mr Trump for more than a year saying he did not think the president’s actions on January 6 were criminal, but Ms Hutchinson’s testimony had changed his mind.
“She has no reason to lie,” he said of Ms Hutchinson.
The bombshell testimony of the former White House aide has encouraged other witnesses to approach the committee, according to some of its members.
Further public hearings will take place this coming week following Friday’s day-long, closed-door testimony form former White House counsel Mr Cipollone.
He is said to have not contradicted previous witnesses, and has added to the committee’s understanding of the events of 6 January 2021.
The next hearing is at 10am on Tuesday 12 July.