Mark Meadows, the ex-North Carolina congressman who served as Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff during his last year in office, has told prosecutors that he personally warned Mr Trump that claims of fraud tainting the 2020 election had no basis in reality.
According to ABC News, Mr Meadows admitted that the then-president had been “dishonest” with the American public when he began floating the outrageous allegations in the wake of his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden during one of several sessions with prosecutors — including sworn testimony before a federal grand jury.
The former top White House aide reportedly told prosecutors: “Obviously we didn’t win”.
Mr Meadows’ admissions that Mr Trump had lost the election and his concession that the loss was not tainted by fraud contradicts much of what he has recounted about that time period in his book, The Chief’s Chief.
He has also repeatedly parroted the ex-president’s baseless claims in interviews with right-wing media outlets.
But Mr Meadows has taken a different tack in his sessions with Mr Smith’s office, as well as during a session before a grand jury during which he gave evidence under a grant of immunity.
The Independent first reported that Mr Meadows had reached an agreement to be granted immunity with Mr Smith’s office in June, just days before Mr Trump was first indicted by a South Florida federal grand jury on charges that he unlawfully retained national defence information and conspired to obstruct a federal probe into how hundreds of documents with classified markings ended up at his Palm Beach, Florida beach club long after his presidency — and his authorisation to possess such documents — had come to a close.