President Donald Trump is furious with chief of staff Mark Meadows after the top West Wing official contradicted the White House physician’s assessment Saturday of the President’s health, two sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Sunday.
Meadows is now widely known inside the White House to be the unnamed source who spoke to reporters following the medical briefing Saturday and offered a more dire assessment than Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley had given shortly before. That reporting was initially given to a pool of reporters attributed to an official familiar with the President’s condition. Later, the Associated Press and the New York Times identified that official as Meadows.
“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. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” Meadows said to reporters.
Trump is outraged at Meadows over the botched message, according to a senior Trump adviser.
Officials in the Trump White House have carefully calibrated their statements about the President’s health over the past few days. Meadows’ statement on Saturday capped a 24-hour period of mixed messages from the administration that raised major questions about the President’s health.
CNN previously reported that the President was unhappy with Meadows.
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A separate White House official confirmed Trump is unhappy with Meadows, as the chief of staff is now viewed by Trump advisers as having damaged the credibility of the current medical briefings on the President’s bout with the coronavirus.
Conley had talked with the President before briefing members of press on Saturday, one White House official said. The official added Conley is unlikely to say more than the President wants said.
During a press conference on Trump’s health on Sunday, Conley appeared to blame the media when asked about Meadows’ comments contradicting him, saying the top aide’s remarks had been “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