It’s been less than three weeks since he took over as the White House chief of staff but Mark Meadows is reportedly already finding it tough. The 60-year-old is reportedly ‘overwhelmed’ by his new role and has even been seen crying in meetings at least twice in his brief stint so far. Meadows has taken over during a tough time when like the rest of the US, its armed forces have also been intimidated by the coronavirus pandemic but what has been more unsettling for him is President Donald Trump’s ‘moods’.
According to a report in the New York Times, administrative officials said Meadows, a former Republican congressman from North Carolina, has been overwhelmed at times by the culture that revolves around the president’s moods and his ‘need for a sense of control’ in the White House.
According to a report by The Times that cited leaks from the White House, Meadows sometimes failed to beat the tension and cried in reaction.
Meadows, who is otherwise known to be close to Trump, reportedly cried during meetings where staffing changes were taken up and one of those meetings saw the presence of Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, according to the NYT report. Kushner though has denied it, according to one of his confidants who spoke to the Times.
Another person who is close to Meadows told ABC News the latter is a strong-willed person who gets annoyed when his viewpoint doesn’t get space. The NYT report said Meadows is someone who is not known for firing people irrespective of his likings but he was left to do precisely that.
'Meadows may not survive in his post for long'
Meadows, who is the fourth man to serve in his role, has tried to reorganize the White House staff members but the work culture in the White House isn’t suiting him as the president’s own style of management has often been termed chaotic. ABC cited one source to say that Meadows also could be history even faster. One source also said that the reports of Meadows’ shedding tears would not impress Trump who considers such displays of emotions as a weakness.
The White House has spoken in favor of Meadows so far though. Hogan Gidley, a House spokesperson, said it is fully focused on supporting the president’s mission of defeating the COVID-19 pandemic, saving American lives and getting the nation back to track and Meadows has proved to be a “tremendous asset” in the endeavor.
Before Meadows, Reince Priebus (January-July 2007), John Kelly (July 2017-Jan 2019) and Mick Mulvaney (January 2019-March 2020) were Trump’s first three chiefs of staff but could not survive for long. Trump has always sought friends to become his chief of staff but the journey of Meadows in the White House so far has indicated that even his best of allies could find it challenging to match the president’s steps.
The role of the chief of staff has turned more challenging in the times of Trump. The man serving in that position acts as a bridge between the president and staff. In the Trump presidency, the chief of staff’s position has become weaker since the incumbent doesn’t like himself to be controlled.