OCTOBER 4, 2020
President Trump is reported to be furious at his chief of staff Mark Meadows after he contradicted the president’s doctor on Saturday, The New York Times and CNN reported.
Two sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN that Trump is upset with his chief of staff after Meadows told reporters an on-background message about the president’s health that conflicted with what Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley told reporters publically.
At first, Meadows’s comments were attributed to an official familiar with the president’s condition when sent out to White House reporters. But an online video revealed that Meadows talked to pool reporters after Conley’s briefing, and The Associated Press and The New York Times confirmed he was the official.
“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” Meadows said, while requesting not to be named. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
Conley had said during the press conference that Trump was doing “very well” and “in exceptionally good spirits.”
A senior Trump adviser told CNN and people close to the situation told the Times that the president was angry at Meadows for the conflicting message. Another White House official confirmed Trump is upset with Meadows as advisers say the chief of staff’s comments have nicked the medical briefings’ credibility.
The president took to Twitter hours after the reported comments saying “I’m feeling well!” He also released a four-minute video of him speaking from a conference table, saying he “wasn’t feeling so well” but he felt “much better now” and signaled he would return to the White House shortly.
Without mentioning Meadows or his remarks, the president said the next few days would be “the real test.”
Later Saturday, Meadows attempted to backtrack from his on-background comments telling Reuters, “The president is doing very well.” He also told Fox News that Trump had “unbelievable courage” and experienced “unbelievable improvement,” while acknowledging that his blood oxygen level had “dropped rapidly.”
When asked about Saturday’s conflicting messages, Conley said during a Sunday press conference that Meadows’ comments were “misconstrued.”
“The chief and I work side by side, and I think his statement was misconstrued. What he meant was that 24 hours ago when he and I were checking on the president, that there was that momentary episode of a high fever and that temporary drop in the saturation, which prompted us to act expediently to move him up here,” Conley said.
Conley also said on Sunday that he decided not to say the president was given oxygen on Saturday because he wanted to “reflect the upbeat attitude of the team.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The president announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had contracted COVID-19 and later that day, he was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Courtesy/Source: The Hill