North Carolina Republicans accuse Mark Meadows of retiring from Congress to help elect a friend of his wife: ‘It just looks very suspicious’

North Carolina Republicans accuse Mark Meadows of retiring from Congress to help elect a friend of his wife: ‘It just looks very suspicious’
"Mark Meadows" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a far-right Tea Party extremist and former House Freedom Caucus chairman, shocked his supporters this month when he announced his retirement from Congress. The four-term congressman, according to Politico, plans to “depart the House for an as-yet-undefined role with President Donald Trump.” And Politico’s Ally Mutnick is reporting that some Republicans are wondering if there is a connection between Meadows’ retirement from Congress and a congressional campaign launched by a friend of his wife, Debbie Meadows.

Mutnick explains that Meadows announced his retirement from the House during an interview with Politico Playboook that was published on December 19 — and later that day, GOP activist and real estate agent Lynda Bennett (who Mutnick described as “friendly with Debbie Meadows”) announced her campaign.

Mutnick reports, “Wary Republicans in the state quickly speculated that (Bennett) had advance notice of Meadows’ retirement. Online records revealed her campaign website domain had been registered on October 28 by a Scott Meadows, who appears to be the brother of the congressman.”

Moreover, according to Mutnick, “Shortly after midnight on December 19 — about five hours before Meadows announced — Bennett posted photos of herself with the congressman and his wife at local GOP events in the state.”

Republican Jeff Miller, a city council member in Hendersonville, North Carolina, told Politico, “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how this happened. It just doesn’t. It just looks very suspicious.”

Miller added, “It was very discourteous to other Republicans who were respecting Congressman Meadows and not primarying him for him to pull out this close to it and leave everybody in a lurch.”

Quoted anonymously, a source described by Mutnick as a “GOP operative” in North Carolina is furious with Meadows for his unexpected departure. The source told Politico, “Meadows screwed everybody…. They have all been eyeing that seat and figured they had two more years.”

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