Mark Meadows said the 'only thing on my mind was that newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court' immediately after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died: book

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Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images and Tom Brenner/Getty Images
  • Former WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wrote about how he and Trump handled Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

  • "The only thing on my mind was that newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court," Meadows wrote.

  • But Meadows also said he had developed a "deep admiration for her strength and resolve."

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says he immediately began thinking about the newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court after the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 2020.

According to Meadows' new book, "The Chief's Chief," Meadows learned of Ginsburg's death while his boss, former President Donald Trump, spoke at a rally in Minnesota.

As was reported at the time, Meadows said he wanted to avoid letting Trump know about the liberal justice's death until after he was done speaking, because he worried about optics of the crowd cheering on her death.

"Because of the energy of the crowd, and the general tendency of people in large groups to act unpredictably, I decided to direct [Dan Scavino] and [Johnny McEntee] to withhold the news about Ginsburg from the president until he had finished speaking," Meadows wrote. "To be blunt, I believed that if he announced the news from the podium, the crowd would likely erupt in cheers over the new vacancy on the court."

But Meadows himself was already fixated on what would come next.

"The only thing on my mind was that newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court, and how it was my job — my only job, at least for the next few weeks — to make sure President Trump was allowed to fill it, as was his duty according to the United States Constitution," he wrote.

Meadows wrote that he respected the liberal justice for her own convictions and for her famed friendship with the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

"I had developed a deep admiration for her strength and resolve," Meadows wrote. "I also knew that she was the last of a rare breed in Washington: someone who could be kind, even friendly, to people who didn't share her political beliefs."

He praised Ginsburg for her "iron will" in declining to retire despite pressure from former President Barack Obama in 2013.

"Now that I've been in the Oval Office and seen the way that room, not to mention the office of the presidency itself, seems to intimidate people into acquiescence, I know that it must have taken an iron will to refuse such a request," he wrote.

"On that night in September, however, I wasn't thinking about any of that," Meadows wrote.

Meadows also wrote that he and Dan Scavino, Trump's Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, tried to get the news of Ginsburg's death to Trump before reporters did at the rally. "I knew that this was a sensitive topic and that even a few wrong words could significantly decrease our chances of filling the vacancy left by Justice Ginsburg," he wrote.

Ultimately, though, Trump did learn about the news from reporters, prompting an unusually gracious response from the former president.

"She led an amazing life. What else can you say? Whether you agree or not, she led an amazing life," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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