WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump first encountered former Rep. Mark Meadowss firm devotion to his conservative convictions not long after being inaugurated, during a House Republican conference discussion on a proposed health care reform.
“Mark has a good history with the president. It actually started out with him speaking truth to power in a very difficult situation,” Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) told The Epoch Times on March 31.
“That was with health care version one in March of 2017. The president came into our Republican conference, knew that Mark and the House Freedom Caucus were against health care version one, and he said, Mark, Im coming after you,” Budd said.
“And, of course, Mark graciously stood his ground and then was able to explain to the president why this was a bad bill. We were able to improve and to get it passed in the House.
“You know, that was a very courageous, awkward situation, and I think the president enjoyed Mark and appreciated his standing his ground then.”
Budd was one of numerous congressional Republicans interviewed this week by The Epoch Times, all of whom described Meadows as a man of strong principles whos quite capable of gracefully advancing them while winning respect from opponents.
Meadows officially began his duties as Trumps White House chief of staff earlier this week after self-quarantining for two weeks following his exposure to an individual who had tested positive for the CCP virus, often referred to as the novel coronavirus. Meadows has shown no symptoms of the virus.
The former congressman was, as a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, among the most visible conservative warriors on Capitol Hill.
But he was also among the most liked across the partisan aisle in Congress, and Budd now expects Meadowss negotiating skills to synchronize well with Trumps management style.
“Trump is an executive, and he can run an office, but he needs not just that, but he needs an adviser as well, somebody that is well-connected, understands the process, can navigate through Congress, and who will speak truth to him,” Budd said.
Budd noted that Meadows was deeply moved when his close friend, Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, who was chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, died in October 2019.
“He seems to have maintained friendships all the way back to his days in business. He just seems to understand the value of relationships, and he can cut through the clutter and see people for who they are,” Budd said.
Meadows has a talent for cutting through other kinds of clutter as well, according to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who told The Epoch Times that “Mark is really good at taking a big, contentious, thorny issue and peeling back the layers one by one.”
Lee said Meadows then examines “each layer of it from different angles and then figures out how everything can fit back together, but in a new and improved format.”
Trump “could not have chosen better, and I am glad Mark Meadows is in that position,” Lee said. “Hes everything you would want in a chief of staff. Hes loyal, smart as the day is long, hes principled, hes organized, and he recognizes that ones principles and pragmatic concerns can be addressed simultaneously.”
One reason Meadows is so respected across ideological divides, Lee says, “is because they know where he stanRead More – Source