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Trump staffers are using the rat emoji to describe Mark Meadows amid testimony rumours

Lawyer for Mark Meadows has been vague if former White House chief of staff cooperating with special counsel Jack Smith

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 21 June 2023 00:41 BST
Trump grilled by Fox News presenter over all the aides that turned against him

Donald Trump’s close allies and aides have started using the rat emoji in text message discussions about his former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, a report says.

The phrase – which can be used to describe an informer – became popular in the former president’s inner circle after Mr Meadows’s lawyer was vague about whether he is cooperating with special counsel Jack Smith, reports Rolling Stone.

The federal prosecutor had been eager to question Mr Meadows under oath about Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and his handling of top-secret documents.

But the magazine states that “it’s been an ongoing mystery to Trump and his team how much Meadows has given the feds, and whether or not he’s actually cooperating.”

Mr Meadows’s lawyer gave very few details to media outlets this month on his client’s status with investigators.

“Without commenting on whether or not Mr Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so,” said George Terwilliger.

The magazine reported that a source had told them of the rat emoji use, and had provided a screenshot of conversations where it was included.

Mr Trump has told his allies that Mr Trump has said he does not know what Mr Meadows is doing and that it would be a “shame” if rumours he is cooperating with prosecutors were true.

The magazine states that the allies have told the former president that there is no evidence that Mr Meadows is cooperating and that he may be following his lawyer’s advice to keep a low profile.

Mr Trump Trump faces 37 federal felony counts alleging he illegally retained national defence information and concealed classified documents.

He has pleaded not guilty and Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon has signed a court order listing the trial as starting on 14 August of this year in Fort Pierce, Florida.

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