Mark Meadows, Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, denied reports that he was talking with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon about a possible replacement for House Speaker Paul Ryan should conservatives turn against him.
The report initially appeared in the Washington Post:
While the trio [Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Scott Perry (R-Pa.)] personally like Ryan, who remains popular throughout the House, one of the people familiar with the discussion said the three members were "frank" about their mounting concerns and warned Ryan that they and others in the House Republican conference could desert him in the coming months if the leadership fails to enact conservative policies.
Several people close to Bannon and Meadows said on Wednesday that the two men, who met on Monday on Capitol Hill, have begun to discuss who could replace Ryan as speaker, should conservatives rebel against him. But they stressed that those discussions remain speculative and informal, with no plan yet for action. (Washington Post)
But appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday, Meadows said this isn’t true.
“I can tell you there’s no plan, there’s nothing there, and if I was working on a plan to depose the Speaker you wouldn’t be reading about it in the press,” he said.
“I can tell you I’ve had conversations with Steve Bannon, [former White House chief of staff] Reince Priebus, both within the last 48 hours or so, and I can tell you that we're laser focused not on a leadership change, but that we change Washington, D.C.," he added.
As for how effective Ryan has been as leader thus far, Meadows was more evasive.
“As an effective speaker, the only thing you can judge that on is the results,” Meadows said. “We got about two or three months to make real decisions. I believe the speaker is up to the task.”