- Mark Meadows told his family during the first presidential debate not to use “bad expressions”.
- In a new book, he recalls saying that the cameras would “catch” guests linked to Trump “doing something wrong.”
- Meadows criticized Biden’s performance in the debate, but said Trump had not “put his best foot forward.”
Throughout President Donald Trump’s tenure, distrust of the press was a defining quality for many members of his entourage.
Trump, who was a media fixture for decades, often created tensions with reporters, leading to many heated discussions with them in the White House.
Before the first presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden, then Democratic candidate, in September 2020, Mark Meadows, the chief of staff of the White House, had in mind the administration’s perception of media prejudice when he spoke with family members in the audience. Meadows said in “The Chief’s Chief,” published Tuesday.
Meadows invited his son, Blake, and stepdaughter, Phoebe, to the debate in Cleveland, which was moderated by Fox News host Chris Wallace.
Meadows’ family members were in awe of the many cameras focused on several angles in the room, and while he was happy that they could have such an experience, he had a clear warning for them, he said. he declares.
“Be careful,” he recalls telling his son. “These cameras love to capture family members making bad expressions. So no expression. None.”
Meadows then looped into his stepdaughter. “They are going to try to catch anyone affiliated with President Trump doing something wrong,” he said. “So pay close attention to how your face looks. You too, Phoebe. Don’t even blink.”
“Other than that, relax and have fun,” he added.
The debate has been one of the most heated affairs of the 2020 campaign – Trump has repeatedly cut Biden and Wallace lamented the deterioration of what was supposed to be a public exchange of ideas.
“I never dreamed he would derail the way he did,” Wallace said shortly after the debate.
The chaotic 90-minute debate featured a flurry of slurs, and Biden berated the then president, saying, “Would you shut up, man?”
In his book, Meadows said the first debate was not the best showcase for Trump, but repeatedly ridiculed Biden’s performance.
For the most part, the debate has been a poor performance by both candidates, especially Joe Biden. He flip-flopped on positions, searched for his words and spelled out the same boring political positions he has since defended. years, ”he wrote. .
“But President Trump hasn’t done his best either,” Meadows added. “Rather than allowing Biden to stumble into the debate in front of a live audience… the president constantly interrupted him.”
Meadows said Trump went after Biden “with everything he had.”
“It was like watching Muhammad Ali step into the ring with an eighty-year-old man,” he wrote.
After the debate, Biden jumped to a 14-point lead among registered voters in an NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll. In that poll, 58% of those polled said they thought Biden had a better temper, while 26% said the same about Trump.