CNN has obtained thousands of text messages exchanged between Mark Meadows and Donald Trump’s high-profile supporters, revealing never-before-seen conversations about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and other efforts to stop Joe Biden from taking office.
Meadows, who served as White House chief of staff under Trump, provided the log of texts to the House committee investigating the insurrection in December, shortly before he stopped cooperating with the probe.
The committee has previously released some of those messages to the public, but CNN reported Monday that it had obtained the 2,319 messages that Meadows had turned over, all of which were sent and received between Election Day 2020 and Biden’s inauguration seven weeks later. Meadows declined to give the committee about 1,000 other text messages, the panel said in a court filing.
The cache of messages includes conversations between Meadows and several members of Trump’s inner circle, including his adult children, campaign officials, Cabinet members, top White House staff, more than 40 current and former Republican members of Congress, Fox News personalities, and organizers of the Jan. 6 event where Trump encouraged his supporters to rally at the Capitol.
Some off the most noteworthy exchanges were between Meadows and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). The Republican lawmaker is currently facing a legal challenge that could disqualify her from running for reelection because of her alleged role in the events of Jan. 6.
In a text to Meadows on Dec. 31, 2020, Greene asked for help organizing the congressional objection to Biden’s victory.
“Good morning Mark, I’m here in DC. We have to get organized for the 6th,” she wrote. “I would like to meet with Rudy Giuliani again. We didn’t get to speak with him long. Also anyone who can help. We are getting a lot of members on board. And we need to lay out the best case for each state.”
During the attack, Greene urged Meadows to make Trump disavow what was happening, writing: “Mark I was just told there is an active shooter on the first floor of the Capitol Please tell the President to calm people This isn’t the way to solve anything.”
Several other Republican lawmakers sent similar pleas, despite publicly downplaying Trump’s responsibility for the attack in its aftermath.
Greene texted Meadows again later that day, claiming far-left activists were masquerading as Trump voters.
“Mark we don’t think these attackers are our people. We think they are Antifa. Dressed like Trump supporters,” she wrote.
Investigations into the attack over the past year have found that the rioters were, in fact, Trump supporters.
Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller appeared to push Meadows to have the president perpetuate the idea that his supporters were not behind the riot, according the texts CNN obtained.
“Call me crazy, but ideas for two tweets from POTUS: 1) Bad apples, likely ANTIFA or other crazed leftists, infiltrated today s (sic) peaceful protest over the fraudulent vote count. Violence is never acceptable! MAGA supporters embrace our police and the rule of law and should leave the Capitol now! 2) The fake news media who encouraged this summer s violent and radical riots are now trying to blame peaceful and innocent MAGA supporters for violent actions. This isn’t who we are! Our people should head home and let the criminals suffer the consequences!”
In the final days leading up to Biden’s inauguration, Greene urged Meadows to to look into Trump declaring martial law, wherein military authority would take over civilian rule.
“In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall (sic) law,” she wrote. “I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him. They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!”
Meadows also frequently texted with Fox News host Sean Hannity, CNN reported. In one conversation, Hannity appears to ask Meadows how he could help improve Trump’s election results.
“NC gonna be ok?” Hannity wrote, referring to the swing state North Carolina. Meadows replied that Hannity should remind his viewers that “every vote matters,” to which Hannity responded: “Yes sir.” Meadows added that the Trump campaign needed a push for votes in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada.