A conservative congressman known for his anti-establishment approach will be President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff.
Trump announced Friday he had picked Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., tweeting, “I have long known and worked with Mark, and the relationship is a very good one.”
Meadows will replace Mick Mulvaney, who has been acting chief of staff since January 2019. Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman, was also the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
He now will become special envoy to Northern Ireland, Trump said.
Meadows, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, was a co-founder in 2015 of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of a few dozen conservative lawmakers who had a notable impact on policy when Republicans controlled the House. In 2016, Meadows became the second chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, succeeding Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
Meadows played an instrumental role in former House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to resign. In 2015, shortly after he filed a motion to vacate the chair, a rarely-used maneuver that could have resulted in a vote that ousted Boehner, the North Carolina congressman told The Daily Signal, “It is a critical time for our leadership to listen to the American people.”
“It’s very easy to say you are willing to pay any cost. It’s a very different thing to actually be willing to go through and lay it all on the line. … I am willing to stand up and say, ‘This is what the people back home want, this is what they’re asking for,’ even if it makes it difficult on me in Washington D.C.,” he also said.
After Boehner stepped down in September 2015, Meadows told The Daily Signal, “If this is the first step in allowing Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C., to listen to the American people, [then] we can look at this as a giant step forward.”
Meadows’ GOP House colleagues, including current House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Johnson, R-La., celebrated the news of his new role on Twitter:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also praised Meadows:
Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James praised Meadows as “a strong leader, principled conservative, and excellent choice to serve as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.”
“In this new role at the White House, he will be in a position to advance the president’s agenda and promote conservative policy ideas,” James said in a statement, adding:
Throughout his tenure in the House, Congressman Meadows represented his district honorably and became one of the most visible conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. His leadership of the House Freedom Caucus elevated conservative ideas and defenders of liberty.
Meadows will be Trump’s fourth chief of staff, in addition to Mulvaney; Reince Priebus, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; and John Kelly, a retired general and former secretary of homeland security.