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Meadows text messages raise new questions in Jan. 6 probe

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows Interview
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, participates in a television interview outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020.Yuri Gripas / Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The text messages that Trump family members, Fox News hosts and other allies sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows represent the most significant findings the House’s Jan. 6 committee has uncovered since it was created nearly six months ago.

They reveal that those close to Trump knew the attack was serious: “We need an oval office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far. And gotten out of hand," Donald Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows.

They make it clear Trump allies knew the rioters were Trump supporters: "Mark, the president needs to tell the people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy," Fox News’ Laura Ingraham texted the former chief of staff.

They demonstrate a belief that Meadows could influence Trump: "Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished," Fox’s Brian Kilmeade wrote. "Can he make a statement asking people to leave the Capitol?" added Fox’s Sean Hannity.

And the text messages suggest, as NBC’s Garrett Haake said on “Today” this morning, that Meadows was at the center of the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election: "Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I'm sorry nothing worked," one lawmaker — whose name was not revealed — told Meadows.

That message above raises an interesting question: Did the Jan. 6 committee release these text messages to signal that it has receipts from everyone who might have communicated with Meadows before and after Jan. 6?

Who else exchanged texts with the former president’s chief of staff?

On Monday night, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack “advanced a measure referring Meadows to the Justice Department for a contempt of Congress charge over his refusal to testify,” per NBC News.

Tweet of the day

Manchin continues to pump the legislative brakes

It sure doesn’t look like the Senate is going to pass President Biden’s “Build Back Better” social/climate spending bill before Christmas.

“Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the most prominent Democratic holdout on President Biden’s $2.2 trillion social safety net, climate and tax bill, cast fresh doubt on Monday on his party’s plans to speed the measure through the Senate before Christmas, saying he still had grave concerns about how it would affect the economy,” the New York Times writes.

After Manchin and President Biden spoke by phone on Monday, both the White House and Manchin’s office said the two had a “productive” and “constructive” talk.

800,000 U.S. Covid deaths in less than two years

Per NBC News, here’s how much time it took for the United States to surpass at least 800,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

  • May 27, 2020: Over 100,000 deaths reported
  • September 19, 2020: Over 200,000 deaths reported
  • December 14, 2020: Over 300,000 deaths reported
  • January 19, 2021: Over 400,000 deaths reported
  • February 21, 2021: Over 500,000 deaths reported
  • June 3, 2021: Over 600,000 deaths reported
  • September 30, 2021: Over 700,000 deaths reported
  • December 13, 2021: Over 800,000 deaths reported

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

63 percent: The share of Georgia GOP primary voters who agree “the election was stolen from Donald Trump through widespread election fraud,” per a new poll by former Sen. David Perdue’s campaign.

1 in 420: The portion of Americans who have died from Covid.

70 percent: How much vaccinated people in South Africa were protected against hospitalization from the omicron variant, per a new study.

801,543: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 1,387 since yesterday morning).

50,129,581: The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 195,083 more since yesterday morning.)

485,359,746: The number of total vaccine doses administered in the U.S., per the CDC. (That’s 1,168,850 since yesterday morning.)

54,439,667: The number of booster vaccine doses administered in the U.S., per the CDC. (That’s 636,335 since yesterday morning.)

60.9 percent: The share of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC.

72.1 percent: The share of all Americans 18-years and older who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Employees at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory tell NBC News that their bosses threatened to fire them if they left before the tornado hit the city. Amazon is also facing questions about its policies on emergencies after six workers died in a partial warehouse collapse in Illinois.

USA Gymnastics has reached a $380 million settlement with sexual assault survivors.

Business Insider is up with a comprehensive new investigation into the financial conflicts of interests of Congress and its top staffers, giving 14 members a rating of “Danger.”