In an interview with FNC's Martha MacCallum, Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, reacts to reports that he is being considered to be the next White House chief of staff. He also talks about an upcoming hearing on the latest on the FBI's investigation into pay-for-play at the the Clinton Foundation.
MACCALLUM: You said when asked about this that you think it would be an incredible honor to serve as chief of the staff. So do you want the job?
MEADOWS: You know it’s not been anything that I’ve been out advocating for. You know my life changed over the last 24 hours when Nick Ayers decided not to do it and there was a story out there that I was on a list.
You know I can say this; it’s going to be the president’s decision. It’s going to be one that he gets to pick from a lot of well qualified candidates, as you just mentioned. And at the end of the day it’s who’s going to serve him best and serve this country best.
And so right now I’ve got a great job in representing the people of western North Carolina. I’m going to continue to do that and yet, at the same time, you know there needs to be someone to support this president and making sure that we do indeed make America great again.
MACCALLUM: So it sounds like if you were offered a job you would say yes.
MEADOWS: Well, I -- you know, listen. There’s a whole lot. You don’t answer a question before it’s asked, but I can say this that because it’s an honor, certainly I’m -- I’m favorably inclined to at least have a discussion with the president.
I have not -- I generally don’t talk about my conversations with the president but since Nick Ayers has stepped down, I have not had a conversation with the president about this potential. It’s been more reporting than anything.
But at the same time, we just want to make sure that he has a good partner to make sure that the White House works well and work on behave of the American people.
MACCALLUM: Do you think John Kelly was not a good partner and what do you think is missing? What do you think that is needed in that job regardless of whether or not it’s you?
MEADOWS: You know I can tell you that I was a fan of John Kelly. I think he’s not only served our country well as chief of staff and served in our country in his previous career.
I knew him in his previous career as a three star general and so this has nothing to do with -- with his abilities or inabilities as much as it is really trying to make sure that the president has someone that can move it forward.
And you got to look at the chief of staff job. You know historically whether it’s this president or any other president, the tenure of chief of staff has not been a long four year, five year process and so -- you know it’s -- it’s a -- it’s a demanding job. It’s a job that keeps you on call 24/7.
And so as the president looks to make a change, I think what you’ll see is that he’ll be thoughtful about it and ultimately make the right decision whether it’s me or anybody else.
MACCALLUM: All right. I want to move on. But just this one last question on that, what would -- what would be the number one thing you think that the person in that job needs to do on day one?
MEADOWS: Well, I think the number one thing that they need to do is make sure that you empower the staff there, allow the president to not only initiate the things that he thinks are important but prioritize those with Congress.
And so whomever is chosen for that job, if they empower the current staff in making sure that they actually act on behalf of the American people, I think it’ll be a chief of staff that serves the president and the country well.
MACCALLUM: All right. And you have no -- you’ve not discussed -- you don’t have a meeting set up right now to talk to him?
MEADOW: I don’t. That’s a good follow up question but I don’t.
MACCALLUM: OK. With regard to the investigation, which doesn’t get a lot of attention, into the Clinton foundation, the DOJ designated John Huber to look into this. They have 6,000 pages of evidence that they’ve gone through. The foundation raised $2.5 billion, and they’re looking into potential improprieties.
What’s next on this investigation?
MEADOWS: Well, I think for the American people, they want to bring some closure, not just a few sound bites, here or there, so we’re going to be having a hearing this week, not only covering over some of those 6,000 pages that you’re talking about, but hearing directly from three whistleblowers that have actually spent the majority of the last two years investigating this.
Some of the allegations they make are quite explosive, Martha. And as – we just look at the contributions. Now everybody’s focused on the contributions for the Clinton Foundation and what has happened just in the last year. But if you look at it, it had a very strong rise, the minute she was selected as secretary of state. It dipped down when she was no longer there.
And then rose again, when she decided to run for president. So there’s all kinds of allegations of pay-to-play and that kind of thing.
MEADOWS: We just want the truth to be revealed.
MACCALLUM: Do any – do these whistleblowers have evidence that there was ever a quid pro quo of a donation in return for some activity as secretary of state?
MEADOWS: Well, they do. They’ve made some allegations there, and again, I want to express their allegations. And so, we’re hoping to get to the bottom of that. They’ve turned over their documents, not only to the FBI, but they’ve turned them over to the IRS.
And I’ve been led to believe that there is actually an ongoing investigation with the FBI, even though DOJ is not independently confirming that. But based on conversations that they’ve had and others, it sounds like there is a real investigation going on that hopefully will provide some real fruit.