Plenty of people – members of Congress, former top White House aides – come out looking bad in the more than 2,000 texts sent and received by Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows between Election Day 2020 and January 20, 2021, obtained by CNN.
No one – and I mean NO ONE – looks worse than Rick Perry, however.
You remember Perry – the former Texas governor who served as the secretary of energy in former President Donald Trump’s White House.
What you may not remember is that CNN reported this about Perry back in December 2021:
“Members of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol believe that former Texas Governor and Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry was the author of a text message sent to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows the day after the 2020 election pushing an ‘AGRESSIVE (sic) STRATEGY’ for three state legislatures to ignore the will of their voters and deliver their states’ electors to Donald Trump, three sources familiar with the House Committee investigation tell CNN.”
At the time, Perry’s team flatly denied that he was the sender of those texts to Meadows. Here’s the specific denial: “A spokesman for Perry told CNN that the former Energy Secretary denies being the author of the text.” No explanation was offered for why the number used in the text was associated with Perry.
Which brings me to the texts that CNN reported on Monday. And these lines from CNN’s story (bolding is mine):
“Previously disclosed text messages showed that former Trump administration Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., each texted Meadows on November 4 and 5 with ideas for overturning the election.
“On November 7, hours before the election was called, Perry texted Meadows again: ‘We have the data driven program that can clearly show where the fraud was committed. This is the silver bullet.’
“While Perry has previously denied CNN reporting about his text messages to Meadows, CNN has confirmed it’s his cell phone and he signed this text, ‘Rick Perry,’ including his number.”
So, in order to now believe Rick Perry’s initial denials, you have to believe:
1. Someone got Perry’s phone without him knowing about it.
2. That same person texted Meadows repeatedly about ways to possibly overturn the election.
3. That person, ingeniously, signed the texts “Rick Perry.”
So, either you believe that or you believe that the texts from Rick Perry’s phone and signed “Rick Perry” were, in fact, from Rick Perry.
If you believe that, then it’s pretty clear that either Perry or Perry’s staff weren’t being truthful to CNN in the initial report on the texts that came from him. (Perry hasn’t commented since the release of the new Meadows texts.)
Like I said, lots of people look bad in these texts. No one looks worse than Perry.