Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows went on Newsmax on Wednesday night and agreed with his old boss that his new book is “fake news.”
Ahead of next week’s release of his upcoming memoir, titled The Chief’s Chief, the Guardian reported that the ex-Trump official writes in its page that former President Donald Trump first tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 26—three days before his first debate with Joe Biden.
Trump (somewhat) denied Meadows’ account, claiming he “did not have COVID” before or during the debate last year. In response, on Wednesday evening, Meadows sheepishly agreed with Trump’s assessment of the reporting tied to his book.
“I believe the president said it’s fake news. What’s the story here?” Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt asked, prompting Meadows to answer, “Well, the president’s right, it’s fake news.”
The ex-Trump official insisted that in his upcoming book, he “actually” outlined how Trump had a “false positive” but then got two subsequent tests that “showed he didn’t have COVID during the debate.”
Meadows added: “And yet, you know the way that the media wants to spin it is certainly to be as negative about Donald Trump as they possibly can while giving Joe Biden a pass.”
However, Meadows wrote in his book that the ex-president scored a negative from a rapid antigen test, which is highly flawed, after testing positive. And in reality, Trump wasn’t tested before the debate because he arrived late to the event. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the moderator of that debate, later acknowledged there was an “honor system” for the two candidates to arrive having already tested negative.
Even the reliably pro-Trump Newsmax anchor seemed a bit skeptical of Meadows’ explanation. “The timing is interesting, though, you have to admit. I mean, wasn’t it just a week later they choppered him to Walter Reed and he was very sick?” Schmitt asked.
Seemingly unprepared for even a mild challenge from Newsmax, Meadows struggled to give a coherent response.
“Yeah, listen, any time we look at things, and we look at tests, and we look at what happened, it’s, it’s certainly, that’s what I outlined in the book,“ he rambled. “And... talk about that Walter Reed visit. But there are a lot of great stories in the book.”
News of Trump’s previously unreported positive COVID-19 test sparked renewed scrutiny over the former administration's careless and reckless handling of coronavirus protocols.
After being hospitalized for the virus, Trump later suggested he caught it from Gold Star families at a White House event he held one day after the initial positive test.
Meadows also recounted in the book that the White House doctor informed him of the positive COVID-19 result as Trump was heading to a Pennsylvania rally—and after the then-president had attended the “superspreader” event celebrating Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation.