Trump tabs NC Rep. Mark Meadows as new White House chief of staff

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FILE – In this Nov. 13, 2019, file photo, Rep. Mark Meadows, R- N.C., speaks to reporters as the hearing with top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, and career Foreign Service officer George Kent, at the House Intelligence Committee ends on Capitol Hill in Washington. In a statement Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, the North Carolina congressman and top ally to President Donald Trump says he struggled with the decision and came to it after discussion with his family.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (WNCN/AP) – President Donald Trump appointed North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows as his new White House Chief of Staff, according to a tweet from the president.

“I have long known and worked with Mark, and the relationship is a very good one,” Trump said.

Meadows had represented North Carolina’s 11th congressional since 2013. He announced in December that he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2020. He will replace Acting Chief Mick Mulvaney, who will become the United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.

In 2015, Meadows stunned his Republican colleagues by filing a motion to oust House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, which eventually led to Boehner’s resignation. The House Freedom Caucus, which he led, also sometimes made life difficult for Boehner’s successor, former Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The Freedom Caucus is a block of around three dozen conservative lawmakers. Their numbers and unity sometimes gave them enough clout to scuttle GOP bills not to their liking or to extract concessions from party leaders.

Meadows also drew attention for his friendship with progressive Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who died earlier this year.

Meadows moved to the North Carolina mountains in the 1980s from Florida and opened a restaurant, then obtained a real-estate license to sell houses. He eventually became a real-estate developer and made millions of dollars before deciding to run in 2012 to replace a Democratic congressman who decided not to seek reelection.

He earned that year’s Republican nomination after a bruising eight-way primary and won the general election before making a name for himself as a staunch conservative who opposed the policies of President Barack Obama.

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