A Wednesday report from Bloomberg spotlights the White House under the leadership of President Donald Trump‘s newly appointed chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the “escalated tensions” he has reportedly created. According to the piece, people familiar with the matter claim that Meadows’ management style has caused friction with some West Wing officials.
Most recently, Meadows replaced former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham — whom he reportedly had in his crosshairs for some time — with Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany. Outside of Grisham, Meadows has allegedly driven the departure of Jessica Ditto, an original Trump White House adviser, and Mike McKenna, a deputy to legislative director Eric Ueland.
Meadows has also reportedly been involved in the administration’s coronavirus response by pressuring Republican governors to implement stay-at-home orders.
According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the situation claim that Meadows’ recent decisions, notably Grisham’s replacement, have led to a rapid increase in tension.
“Top aides still have confidence in Meadows and are trying to work with him,” the publication reported the sources as saying. “But there is concern that he hasn’t spent time getting to know how the West Wing works before making aggressive changes.”
President Trump announces his fourth chief of staff, Congressman Mark Meadows pic.twitter.com/hxJCXsNz6o
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) March 7, 2020
Per Bloomberg, Meadow’s moves have “damaged morale” in the West Wing and spiked anxiety about a “broader shakeup.” As reported by Talking Points Memo, such fears aren’t unfounded. The publication points to a report from The New York Times claiming Grisham’s departure is the first of many more personnel changes that Meadows will make in his new role.
Meadows is reportedly working closely with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who was allegedly a force behind the departure of former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. During his time at the White House, Kelly clashed with Kushner on multiple occasions.
As reported by CNBC, Trump is considering a second COVID-19 task force that will include Meadows, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow. The team is reportedly meant to focus on the economic damage that has been caused by the pandemic.
According to the Bloomberg report, Meadows has broken with his predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, by diving into the coronavirus response effort. Recently, Meadows took the side of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who clashed with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.
Mulvaney reportedly lost Trump’s confidence by his lack of involvement in the battle against COVID-19.