A day after Donald Trump’s impeachment, North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows—the right-wing Freedom Caucus leader who has spent the last three years with his lips firmly pressed to the president’s ample derriere—announced that he would not seek re-election this year, The New York Times and other media outlets reported this morning. 

Calling it a “decision I struggled with greatly,” Meadows said in a statement: “For everything there is a season. After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I’m announcing that my time serving Western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term. My work with President Trump and his administration is only beginning.”

That last part might not hinge on Trump winning in November. Meadows told Politico’s Playbook that he might leave Congress before his term ends to work on Trump’s campaign or in the White House. 

Per Politico: “Meadows said he does not have a specific job with Trump locked down, but signaled he might try to work for his re-election campaign or in the administration. Asked if he would serve out the remainder of his term, Meadows said this: ‘At this point, I plan to serve the people of western North Carolina until it’s decided that I can best serve the president and the American people in a different capacity. And so while there’s no immediate plans, there’s certainly discussions that have occurred and potentially could occur in the future.’”

Last year, Trump toyed with naming Meadows his chief of staff but picked Mick Mulvaney instead. Mulvaney played a key role in the president’s impeachment after confirming the quid pro quo with Ukraine in a press conference and saying Americans should “get over it.” 

The deadline for candidate filing in North Carolina’s congressional seats is tomorrow, which forced the timing of Meadows’s announcement. Even with the newly drawn districts, Meadows’s seat is considered safe for Republicans. He becomes the twenty-fourth Republican this term to announce that he won’t seek re-election in 2020—not what you’d normally consider a sign of strength for a party facing an uphill battle in its quest to reclaim the majority. 

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at jbillman@indyweek.com. 

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2 replies on “Mark Meadows, Trump’s No. 1 Sycophant, to Retire From Congress”

  1. Christianity Today says impeach the very day this guy quits? Sounds more like he’s heading to a job in the pence administration.

  2. Didn’t Pat McCrory have a sweet gig with the Trump* administration all locked until he didn’t?
    Maybe Meadows and Pat will have a ‘two scorpions in a jar’ fight for the 2022 Senate. Break out the Jiffy Pop!

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