That’s according to “The Chief’s Chief,” a new brief from Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, which was released on Tuesday.
Below are some of the key revelations from the book, for which Trump wrote blurb but has since would have been mad at.
Trump’s condition was much more serious than previously thought
October 2, 2020 – the day Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus – Meadows writes that the president’s blood oxygen level was around 86%, or around 10 points below that which would be considered normal.
Trump was given supplemental oxygen as well as a regeneron-made, intravenous monoclonal antibody treatment that Meadows had arranged to be secretly delivered to the White House.
“We had the four poster bed set up in the president’s room so he could lie down and take the medicine while he was still alert and giving orders,” Meadows writes.
But Trump’s health had deteriorated so badly that Dr. Sean Conley, then a White House doctor, ruled the president needed hospitalization, and it was up to Meadows to convince him to go.
Meadows recalls that when he entered Trump’s private residence, the president was sitting in bed with a t-shirt with red streaks in his eyes.
“It was the first time I’d seen him in anything other than a golf shirt or a suit jacket,” Meadows writes. “His hair had been a mess from the hours he had spent putting Regeneron to bed in bed.
Trump was initially reluctant to go to the hospital, according to Meadows, but the chief of staff begged him.
“Better that you get out of here today with your own strength, your own power, than for me to have to take you on a stretcher in two days,” Meadows recalls telling him.
Trump gave in. But when he walked to the helicopter that would take him to Walter Reed, he couldn’t hold a briefcase that was “too heavy for him,” according to Meadows.
“He looked at me, almost surprised that he had to put it down. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘I – I can’t do it over there,’ Meadows wrote.
Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before first debate
Trump first tested positive for the coronavirus on September 26, 2020, three days before his first debate with Joe Biden in Cleveland, and appeared to be symptomatic, according to Meadows. (Trump was tested again and tested negative, according to Meadows.)
But Trump participated in the debate and other events even though he knew he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Nothing was going to stop him from going there,” Meadows wrote, adding, “We will probably never know if President Trump was positive that night. “
Last week, after the Guardian published an excerpt from Meadows’ book containing the revelation, Trump denied the claim.
“The story of me having COVID before or during the first debate is fake news,” Trump said in a statement. “In fact, a test revealed that I did not have COVID before the debate. He released another statement on Monday reiterating his denial.
Meadows says he was told of Trump’s first positive test by Conley as the president was on his way to a rally in Pennsylvania.
Meadows then relayed the news to Trump, who had called him from Air Force One.
“Oh shit, you must be kidding me,” Trump replied, according to Meadows.
The test, writes the former chief of staff, was carried out with “an old model kit”.
A second test – using the “Binax system” – was performed and came back negative, which, according to Meadows, Trump considered “full permission to continue as normal.”
The next day, September 27, Trump played golf in Virginia and appeared maskless alongside First Lady Melania Trump at an event for Gold Star families. He will later suggest that he contracted the virus during his interactions with these families.
Trump was rushed to underground bunker during George Floyd protests
In the book, Meadows confirms reports that Trump in fact retreated to an underground bunker at the White House on May 29, 2020, as a nightly protest outside the Executive Mansion escalated.
“He had no choice,” writes Meadows. “When the Secret Service asked President Trump to descend into the White House bunkers, he obeyed. He knew he could go to the bunker with a few agents by his side, or he could go over their shoulders kicking them and screaming. For everyone’s sake, the first option was better.
The New York Times later reported that Secret Service agents rushed Trump into the underground bunker. (“To this day, I don’t know how this information came out,” Meadows writes. “I have no doubt that it was leaked by someone who intended to hurt the president.”)
Trump denied the report, saying he “came down during the day” for “an inspection.”
“It was a false report. I wasn’t depressed, ”Trump said on Fox News Radio. “I was there for a very small, short time.
Meadows blames ‘handful of fanatics’ for January 6 insurgency
Elsewhere in the book, Meadows appears to try to play down the role of the then president in the events of January 6, when hundreds of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol, injuring more than 140 police officers and delaying certification. of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Although more than 700 people have been charged in connection with the January 6 attack, according to Meadows, “no one would want to [focus] on the actions of … those supporters of President Trump who came [to Washington on Jan. 6] without hatred in their hearts or any bad intentions. Instead, he wrote, “they would laser track the actions of a handful of fanatics across town.”
Meadows also challenges critics who have accused Trump of encouraging his supporters to engage in violence at a rally shortly before the riot broke out. He wrote that Trump’s January 6 speech, when he told his supporters to “fight like a devil,” was “more moderate than usual,” and said the president at the time “spoke metaphorically. When he said he would join the crowd to march on the Capitol to “encourage” Republicans who oppose the results of the Electoral College.
Trump “knew as well as anyone that we couldn’t organize a trip like this on such a short notice,” Meadows says. Some of the rioters said they decided to march on Capitol Hill in part because of Trump’s promise to accompany them.
The revelations on that day were of particular interest to members of the House committee on January 6, which issued a subpoena to the former chief of staff in September to request documents and testimony regarding his role in Trump’s efforts. to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and stop the certification of Biden’s victory. Last week, the committee revealed that Meadows had agreed to cooperate with the panel and would be showing up for a first statement soon. But on Tuesday morning, an attorney for Meadows told Fox News he would no longer participate in the Jan.6 probe, citing his inability to come to an agreement with lawmakers on whether certain information could be covered by the executive privilege.