TRUMP - JAN 6 HEARING

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 29: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (R) listens prior to Trump's Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House July 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to visit the Double Eagle Energy oil rig in Midland, Texas, and will attend a fundraising luncheon for the Republican Party and his reelection campaign. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Cassidy Hutchinson.jpg

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the Jan. 6 hearing.

Reacting in real time to the damning testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, former President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday he "hardly know[s]" Hutchinson, and personally rejected a request she made to join his post-presidency staff at Mar-a-Lago.

"When she requested to go with certain others of my team to Florida after my having served a full term in office, I personally turned her request down," Trump said on Truth Social during Hutchinson's live testimony to the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.

Trump attempted to cast Hutchinson's testimony on Tuesday as revenge, claiming she was "very upset and angry that I didn't want her" at his Palm Beach residence.

The former President's attempt to distance himself from Hutchinson, who he described as "bad news" on Tuesday, came after the committee showed renderings of the West Wing to demonstrate just how close she was to the Oval Office as an assistant to Meadows. Multiple former White House aides also publicly vouched for Hutchinson's proximity to Trump and his chief of staff before and during her appearance on Tuesday.

"Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson's role or her access in the West Wing either doesn't understand how the Trump [White House] worked or is attempting to discredit her because they're scared of how damning this testimony is," tweeted former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews.

In response to this, one former White House aide said, “everyone high up at the White House knew her. And even if Trump didn’t know her name, he most certainly recognized her. She traveled on Air Force One with Mark for every trip.”

Hutchinson may not be a well-known name outside of Trump world, but she was an access point to the inside of it when Meadows was the former President's chief of staff. If lawmakers wanted to get in touch with Trump, they called Hutchinson, not the White House switchboard. When they had a message to push to Meadows, they rang Hutchinson, not the legislative affairs staffer, as reported by CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

Trump has previously downplayed his relationship to key witnesses who have cooperated with the House probe.

Days after the committee revealed that Trump's former body man, Nick Luna, testified that he called then-Vice President Mike Pence a "wimp" on Jan. 6, 2021, the former President denied doing so and said he didn't know who the aide was.

"One guy got up and said that he heard me calling Mike Pence a wimp ... I don't even know who these people are," Trump told a crowd in Nashville earlier this month.

But days later, British filmmaker Alex Holden, who has also testified before the committee, released a video clip of Trump personally directing Luna – by name – to help properly stage one of his on-camera interviews for Holden's documentary.

Trump has often attempted to downplay his familiarity with aides and allies with whom he was once close.

These are the key lines from Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony at today's hearing 

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified today before the Jan. 6 committee.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Jan. 6 committee chair, said in his opening remarks that Hutchinson embodies "courage" for testifying and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said in her opening statement that Hutchinson's testimony "touches on several important and cross-cutting topics, topics that are relevant to each of our future hearings."

Aides to former President Trump were left speechless amid Hutchinson's testimony on Tuesday, acknowledging to CNN that her testimony was "a bombshell" with potentially huge repercussions for Trump.  "This is a bombshell. It's stunning. It's shocking...I don't have words. It's just stunning," said one Trump adviser. 

If you're just reading in now, here are some of the key things that Hutchinson said during her testimony so far:

  • Meadows said that Trump thought Pence deserved chants calling for him to be hanged: Hutchinson said that she heard Meadows say that Trump did not think the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rioters were doing anything wrong and that Vice President Mike Pence deserved to face chants that calling for his hanging. "I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, 'Mark, we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the vice president to be f---ing hung.' And Mark had responded something to the effect of, 'You heard it, Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.'"
  • Trump shattered his lunch plate after learning Barr said election wasn't fraudulent, aide says she was told: Hutchinson described Trump's angry reaction after former Attorney General Bill Barr said in an interview with the Associated Press that the Department of Justice had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud after the 2020 election. Hutchinson testified that after learning about the interview Trump went down to the White House dining room and threw a plate against the wall, shattering it. "I left the office and went down to the dining room and I noticed that the door was propped open and the valet was inside the dining room changing the table cloth off of the dining room table. He motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantle and the TV where I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there's a shattered porcelain plate on the floor." Hutchinson said that the valet told her that Trump was "extremely angry" at Barr "and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing them to have to clean up." 
  • Hutchinson details secondhand account of Trump launching at Secret Service agents on Jan. 6 : Hutchinson testified that she was told that Trump became "irate" when informed by security that he would not be going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, because the situation was not secure. Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on Jan. 6, 2021, repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol. And she testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel. According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the F’ing President. Take me up to the Capitol now.” Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “lunge” at Engel. 
  • Mark Meadows sought a presidential pardon: Hutchinson told the committee that her former boss, Mark Meadows, did seek a presidential pardon related to Jan. 6, 2021. "Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon, yes, ma'am," she answered in response to Cheney's question. In addition to Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump, also sought a pardon, Hutchinson told the committee.
  • Hutchinson said she heard Trump say he didn't care that his supporters had weapons: Hutchinson testified that she overheard Trump saying that he did not care if his supporters had weapons — and suggested he had no issue with them marching to the Capitol armed. "I overheard the President say something to the effect of 'I don't F-ing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the F-ing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take the F-ing mags away."
  • Trump and Meadows were told that there were weapons among supporters at Jan. 6 rally held at Ellipse: Meadows and Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump supporters had weapons when they gathered on the Ellipse that day, Hutchinson testified. Hutchinson also testified that Ornato said he talked to Trump about weapons at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021. The House select committee investigation learned from law enforcement reports that people at the Trump rally on the Ellipse had pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, Tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, Cheney said on Tuesday.
  • Hutchinson heard Proud Boys and Oath Keepers mentioned leading up to Jan. 6: Hutchinson told the committee she heard the names of two far-right groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper, mentioned leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. “I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally, when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a video the committee played of one of her previous depositions. Rep. Cheney noted that “Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the Proud Boys for Jan. 6.” Dozens of people connected to the Proud Boys have been arrested for their alleged participation in the Capitol riot, and leaders of both groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged role that day, some of whom provided security that day for allies to Trump, including Roger Stone.  
  • Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6": Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told his aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 2, 2021, that "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6," she testified on Tuesday. She said he told her this after she spoke with former President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who told her "something to the effect of 'we're going to the Capitol.'" Hutchinson said that Meadows "was scrolling through his phone; I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, 'I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. It sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.' He didn't look up from his phone and said something to the effect of 'there's a lot going on, Cass, but I don't know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6." She said: "That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6." Hutchinson testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on January 6 that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel. 
  • Days before the riot, Giuliani said "we’re going to the Capitol": Hutchinson testified Tuesday that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on Jan. 2, 2021 – four days before the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters – that “we’re going to the Capitol” on January 6, and that President Trump himself was also planning to be there. “Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day. … We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president is going to be there, it’s going to look powerful,” Giuliani said, according to Hutchinson, who also said Giuliani told her that Trump would be with members of Congress that day. It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on January 6, but Hutchinson’s testimony establishes for the first time that people around Trump had advance knowledge of this plan.

Continuing coverage: 

Mark Meadows sought a presidential pardon, aide testifies

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the committee that he did seek a presidential pardon related to Jan. 6.

"Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon, yes, ma'am," she answered in response to Rep. Liz Cheney's question.

In addition to Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump, also sought a pardon, Hutchinson told the committee.

Hutchinson "disgusted" at Trump's "unpatriotic" "un-American" attacks on Pence on Jan. 6

Cassidy Hutchinson testified that she felt "disgusted" at seeing former President Donald Trump tweet attacks directed at then-Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6 — part of the President's pressure campaign on Pence to try to enlist him in the effort to overturn the election results, which Pence resisted.

Hutchinson called Trump's attacks on Pence "unpatriotic" and "un-American" and said of the storming of the Capitol, "we were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie."

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a tweet from Trump on Jan. 6 at 2:24 p.m. in which Trump said that Pence "didn't have the courage to do what should have been done." Cheney then asked Hutchinson how she reacted to seeing that.

"As a staffer that works to always represent the administration to the best of my ability, and to showcase the good things that he had done for the country, I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, it felt personal, I was really sad. As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic, it was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie," Hutchinson said.

See texts that Meadows sent on Jan. 6

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is testifying Tuesday before the Jan. 6 House select committee.

CNN obtained 2,319 text messages that Meadows handed over to the Jan. 6 committee that were sent and received between Election Day 2020 and President Joe Biden’s inauguration, including more than 150 on Jan. 6, 2021.

Meadows’ texts, which he selectively provided to the panel, show that even those closest to former President Donald Trump believed he had the power to stop the violence in real time.

Here’s a minute-by-minute timeline of the notable text messages that Meadows sent and received on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, which have been verified by CNN. The texts include messages from former White House officials, Meadows associates and Republican members of Congress, as well as Trump’s oldest son. There are also numerous texts from reporters at news organizations such as The New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN.

TEXTS

Meadows said that Trump thought Pence deserved chants calling for him to be hanged, according to aide

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said that she heard Meadows say that former President Trump did not think the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters were doing anything wrong and that Vice President Mike Pence deserved to face chants that calling for his hanging.

"I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, 'Mark, we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the vice president to be f---ing hung.' And Mark had responded something to the effect of, 'You heard it, Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it, he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.'"

"To which Pat said something, 'this is f---ing crazy, we need to be doing something more," and briefly stepped into Meadows' office," she continued.

Hutchinson said that was the moment she "understood there to be the rioters in the Capitol that were chanting for the vice president to be hung."

Trump told Meadows to ask Michael Flynn and Roger Stone what was going to happen on Jan. 6, aide says

The night before the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump instructed his chief of staff Mark Meadows to ask Roger Stone and Michael Flynn what was going to happen on Jan. 6, Cassidy Hutchinson testified on Tuesday.

Hutchinson, who was a top Meadows aide, said that Meadows called both Flynn and Stone that evening.

Meadows also repeatedly tried to go the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5, Hutchinson said, where Flynn and Stone, along with Trump allies John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, had set up a makeshift "war room." 

“I had made it clear to Mr. Meadows that I didn't believe it was a smart idea for him to go to the Willard Hotel that night,” Hutchinson testified. “I wasn't sure everything that was going on at the Willard Hotel, but I knew enough about what Mr. Giuliani and his associates were pushing during this period.”

“I didn't think that it was something appropriate for the White House chief of staff to attend or to consider involvement in,” Hutchinson added. “I made that clear to Mr. Meadows.”

Meadows eventually agreed to stay at the White House and call into a meeting with those at the Willard.

Stone and Flynn both attended the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 but are not charged with a crime. They both appeared before the select committee and repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment. 

Stone has been central to the criminal allegations against the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers. Stone had a protective detail made up of members of the Oath Keepers, a few of whom have been criminally charged with seditious conspiracy. In court filings, those members have argued that they were only in Washington to protect VIP rally attendees.

Meadows told Cipollone that Trump didn't want to do anything about the Jan. 6 violence, aide says

Not long after the rioters broke into the US Capitol, former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone rushed into Mark Meadows' office demanding a meeting with former President Donald Trump, the former White House chief of staff's aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the Jan. 6 committee.

"I remember Pat saying to him something to the effect of, 'the rioters have gotten to the Capitol. We need to go down and see the President now,'" Hutchinson said in a videotaped interview.

"And Mark looked up at him and said, 'he doesn't want to do anything, Pat,'" she said.

Cipollone emphasized the need for action to control the situation to Meadows, Hutchison added.

She said Cipollone "very clearly said this to Mark — something to the effect of, 'Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood's going to be on your f-ing hands. This is getting out of control. I'm going down there."

Meadows then handed his phones to Hutchinson and walked out of his office with Cipollone, she told the committee.

"This is a bombshell": Trump aides left speechless by Hutchinson testimony

Aides to former President Donald Trump were left speechless amid the first half of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony on Tuesday, acknowledging to CNN that her testimony was "a bombshell" with potentially huge repercussions for Trump. 

"This is a bombshell. It's stunning. It's shocking. The story about the beast – I don't have words. It's just stunning," said one Trump adviser.

"This paints a picture of Trump completely unhinged and completely losing all control which, for his base, they think of him as someone who is in command at all times. This completely flies in the face of that," the adviser added. 

The Trump adviser, who was in a group text chat with several other Trump aides and allies as the hearing played out, said that "no one is taking this lightly." 

"For the first time since the hearings started, no one is dismissing this," the adviser said. 

Another Trump ally told CNN the testimony from Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, would seal Meadows' fate as "persona non grata" to the former President.

"This is one of the reasons [Trump] is furious with Meadows. He was already iced out but now he will be persona non grata," this person said. 

The startling revelations from Hutchinson's testimony about Trump's erratic behavior and state of mind on Jan. 6 could make it easier for Republican presidential hopefuls to challenge the former President in a primary should he run, the Trump ally added. 

"This is basically a campaign commercial for Ron DeSantis 2024," said the Trump ally.  

Here are the key lines  from the hearing

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Jan. 6 committee chair, argued in his opening remarks that Hutchinson embodies "courage" for testifying and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said in an opening statement that Hutchinson's testimony "touches on several important and cross-cutting topics, topics that are relevant to each of our future hearings."

If you're just reading in now, here are some of the key things that Hutchinson has said during her testimony so far:

  • Hutchinson told the committee she heard Trump say he didn't care that his supporters had weapons: Hutchinson testified before the Jan. 6 hearing that she overheard former President Donald Trump saying that he did not care if his supporters had weapons — and suggested he had no issue with them marching to the Capitol armed. "I overheard the President say something to the effect of 'I don't F-ing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the F-ing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take the F-ing mags away."
  • Trump and Meadows told about weapons among supporters at Jan. 6 rally held at Ellipse: The President's chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump supporters had weapons when they gathered on the Ellipse that day, Hutchinson testified. Hutchinson also testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said he talked to Trump about weapons at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021. The House select committee investigation learned from law enforcement reports that people at the Trump rally on the Ellipse had pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, Tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, Cheney said on Tuesday.
  • Hutchinson details secondhand account of Trump launching at Secret Service agents on Jan. 6 Hutchinson testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel. Ornato told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on Jan. 6, 2021 repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol.  According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the F’ing President. Take me up to the Capitol now.” Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “lunge” at Engel. 
  • Hutchinson heard Proud Boys and Oath Keepers mentioned leading up to Jan. 6: Hutchinson told the committee she heard the names of two far-right groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper, mentioned leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. “I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally, when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a video the committee played of one of her previous depositions. Rep. Cheney noted that “Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the Proud Boys for Jan. 6.” Dozens of people connected to the Proud Boys have been arrested for their alleged participation in the Capitol riot, and leaders of both groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged role that day, some of whom provided security that day for allies to President Donald Trump, including Roger Stone.  
  • Meadows told Hutchinson "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6": Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told his aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 2, 2021, that "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6," she testified on Tuesday. She said he told her this after she spoke with former President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who told her "something to the effect of 'we're going to the Capitol.'" Hutchinson said that Meadows "was scrolling through his phone; I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, 'I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. It sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.' He didn't look up from his phone and said something to the effect of 'there's a lot going on, Cass, but I don't know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6." She said: "That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6." Hutchinson testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on January 6 that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel. 
  • Days before the riot, Giuliani said "we’re going to the Capitol": Hutchinson testified Tuesday that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on Jan. 2, 2021 – four days before the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters – that “we’re going to the Capitol” on January 6, and that President Trump himself was also planning to be there. “Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day. … We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The president is going to be there, it’s going to look powerful,” Giuliani said, according to Hutchinson, who also said Giuliani told her that Trump would be with members of Congress that day. It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on January 6, but Hutchinson’s testimony establishes for the first time that people around Trump had advance knowledge of this plan.

Trump shattered his lunch plate after learning Barr said election wasn't fraudulent, aide says she was told

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described former President Trump's angry reaction after former Attorney General Bill Barr said in an interview with the Associated Press that the Department of Justice had not found evidence of widespread voter fraudafter the 2020 election.

Hutchinson testified that after learning about the interview Trump went down to the White House dining room and threw a plate against the wall, shattering it.

"Around the time that I understand the AP article went live, I remember hearing noise coming from down the hallway, so I poked my head out of the office, and I saw the valet walking towards our office. He had said, get [chief of staff Mark Meadows] down to the dining room. The President wants him. So, Mark went down to the dining room, came back to the office a few minutes later." 

She continued: "After Mark had returned, I left the office and went down to the dining room and I noticed that the door was propped open and the valet was inside the dining room changing the table cloth off of the dining room table. He motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantle and the TV where I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall and there's a shattered porcelain plate on the floor."

Hutchinson said that the valet told her that Trump was "extremely angry" at Barr "and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing them to have to clean up." 

Hutchinson said she grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off the wall to help the valet out.

Trump lunged at Secret Service and steering wheel when told he couldn’t go to Capitol, aide says she was told

Cassidy Hutchinson testified during the hearing that she was told that former President Donald Trump became "irate" when informed by security that he would not be going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, because the situation was not secure.

And she testified that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel. 

Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, told Hutchinson that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on Jan. 6, 2021, repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol.  

According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the F’ing President. Take me up to the Capitol now.” 

Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “lunge” at Engel. 

Here's how Hutchinson described the President's anger at being prevented from going to the Capitol:

"Tony proceeded to tell me that when the President got in the beast he was under the impression from Mr. Meadows that the off-the-record movement to the Capitol was still possible and likely to happen, but that Bobby had more information. So as the President had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought they were going up to the Capitol and when Bobby relayed to him we're not, we don't have the assets to do it, it's not secure, we're going back to the West Wing, the President had a very strong, very angry response to that. Tony described him as being 'irate.' The President said something to the effect of 'I'm the F-ing President, take me to the Capitol now.'"

Engel and Ornato have both testified to the committee behind closed doors, but their statements have not been used in today's hearing.

Trump wanted to go to Capitol on Jan. 6 after Ellipse speech and sent Secret Service scrambling, logs show

Former President Trump wanted to go to the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, following his speech at the White House Ellipse, much to the dismay of national security officials who were following the situation in real time and learned that the Secret Service was scrambling to find a way for him to go minutes before the violence began to escalate, according to National Security Council chat logs from that day that were revealed for the first time during Tuesday’s hearing. 

The NSC chat logs provide a minute-by-minute account of how the situation evolved from the perspective of top White House national security officials on Jan. 6, 2021. They also appear to contradict an account by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in his book in which he says Trump never intended to march to the Capitol.

“MOGUL’s going to the Capital … they are clearing a route now,” a message sent to the chat log at 12:29 pm on January 6 reads — referring to the former president's secret service code name. “They are finding the best route now.” 
“MilAide has confirmed that he wants to walk,” a 12:32 p.m. ET message reads. “They are begging him to reconsider.”
“So this is happening,” a message sent at 12:47 p.m. ET says. 

The chat logs also show how situation at the Capitol clearly began to escalate just before 1 p.m. ET as lawmakers gathered in the House chamber to count Electoral College votes and while Trump was on stage at the White House Ellipse – moments before he called for his supporters to march. 

“Capitol Police are now reporting multiple breaches in their anti-scaling fence,” a 12:57 p.m. ET message says.

“Capitol is now calling for all available to respond,” another message sent at 1 pm reads. “They have taken over the stage over there.”

Six minutes later, this message was sent to the NSC chat, but Trump’s plans remained unclear: “about to use non-lethal force at the Capitol.”

It was not until 1:17 p.m. ET that NSC officials knew Trump was in the motorcade and appeared to be headed back to the White House: “Looks like he is coming home for now.”

“Mogul in the Oval,” the final message, sent at 1:20 p.m. ET said. 

Here's what Kevin McCarthy told Hutchinson as Trump told protesters to march to the Capitol

Cassidy Hutchinson told the Jan. 6 committee that she received a call from GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after former President Donald Trump told protesters at his rally to march to the US Capitol.

"I was still in the tent behind the stage, and when you're behind the stage, you can't really hear what's going on in front of you. So when Mr. McCarthy called me with this information ... he sounded rushed but also frustrated and angry at me," she said Tuesday. "I was confused because I didn't know what the President had just said."

When McCarthy relayed what Trump had just said, he accused Hutchinson of having lied to him.

"He then explained the President just said he's marching to the Capitol. 'You told me this whole week you aren't coming up here. Why would you lie to me?' I said, 'I wasn't lying to you, sir. We're not going to the Capitol.' "

"He said, 'well, he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don't come up here,'" she added.

Hutchinson said she assured him there were no plans to go to the Capitol and he pressed a little more, frustrated, but believed her ended the call.

She told the committee that she confirmed with White House official Tony Ornato that they weren't going to the Capitol and then let McCarthy know. "He didn't respond after that."

Former White House counsel relayed "serious legal concerns" to Hutchinson, she says

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said former White House counsel Pat Cipollone told her that "we need to make sure that this doesn't happen," referring to going to the Capitol.  

"'This would be legally a terrible idea for us. We have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day,'" she said he told her in a brief conversation on Jan. 3, 2021. "And he then urged me to continue relaying that to Mr. Meadows, because it's my understanding that Mr. Cipollone thought that Mr. Meadows was, indeed, pushing this along with the President." 

On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Hutchinson also spoke to Cipollone, who said "something to the effect of 'please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.'"

"In the days leading up to the 6th, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count," she said.

During a previous interview with the committee shown on video, she said on Jan. 3 or Jan. 4, "Pat was concerned ... that it would look like we were obstructing what was happening on Capitol Hill, and he was also worried that it would look like we were inciting a riot or encouraging a riot to erupt on the Capitol, at the Capitol."

Meadows "almost had a lack of reaction" when he heard about violence at Capitol, former aide says

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mark Meadows, said the former White House chief of staff "almost had a lack of reaction" when she told him about the violence at the US Capitol.

Hutchinson said she first tried to relay information to Meadows about Capitol Police having difficulty with protesters on Jan. 6, 2021, but he shut the door of his car on her.

Meadows "was in a secure vehicle at the time making a call," she recounted for the committee. "When I went to open the door to let him know, he immediately shut it. I don't know who he was speaking with. It wasn't something that he regularly did, especially when I would go over to give him information. So I was a bit taken aback, but I didn't think much of it."

Hutchinson said she thought she could have a conversation with him a few moments later, and she added that she followed up 20 to 25 minutes later.

"There was another period between where he shut the door again, and then when he finally got out of the vehicle, we had the conversation. At that point, there was a backlog of information that he should have been made aware of," she told the committee.

When she told him about the violence at the Capitol, she said there was a lack of reaction on his part.

"He almost had a lack of reaction. I remember him saying 'alright.' Something to the effect of 'how much longer does the President have left in his speech?'" Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson told committee she heard Trump say he didn't care that his supporters had weapons

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the Jan. 6 hearing that she overheard former President Donald Trump saying that he did not care if his supporters had weapons — and suggested he had no issue with them marching to the Capitol armed.

"I overheard the President say something to the effect of 'I don't F-ing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the F-ing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take the F-ing mags away."

Hutchinson says then-DNI Ratcliffe warned efforts to fight election results could "spiral out of control"

In December 2020, just days before the Capitol Hill riot, John Ratcliffe, then the Trump-picked director of National Intelligence, told Cassidy Hutchinson that the White House's effort to "fight the results of the election" could "spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous."

"The way that the White House was handling the post-election period, he felt that there could be dangerous repercussions in terms of precedent set for elections, for our Democracy, for the 6th," Hutchinson said of Ratcliffe, a former Republican lawmaker with access to the nation's most closely guarded secrets.

The comment was one of a number of "prescient" warnings about potential violence on Jan. 6, 2021 — in the words of Rep. Liz Cheney — that the House Select Committee invoked at a public hearing Tuesday. 

Hutchinson also testified that Mark Meadows, her boss, the then-chief of staff, told her on Jan. 2, 2021, that "things might get real, real bad on the 6th." 

"That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous of what could happen on Jan. 6," Hutchinson said.

Trump and Meadows told about weapons among supporters at Jan. 6 rally held at Ellipse, former aide testifies

The President's chief of staff Mark Meadows and Donald Trump himself were aware of the possibility of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump supporters had weapons when they gathered on the Ellipse that day, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson has testified.  

Hutchinson also testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said he talked to Trump about weapons at his rally on Jan. 6, 2021. 

The House select committee investigation learned from law enforcement reports that people at the Trump rally on the Ellipse had pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, Tasers and blunt objects that could be used as weapons, vice chair Liz Cheney said on Tuesday.

Hutchinson corroborated that this was known inside the White House the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, as well. She said she witnessed a discussion about the weapons between Ornato and Meadows, her boss. 

Ornato informed Meadows about the weaponry, and mentioned to Hutchinson "these f'ing people are fastening spears onto the ends of flagpoles," she said in previous testimony that the committee presented as a video clip on Tuesday. 

But Hutchinson said that Meadows, on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, didn't look up from his phone, seeming to barely register what was said. 

Meadows asked Ornato, "Have you talked to the President?" she recalled. Ornato said he had made Trump aware, she added. 

The Justice Department has proven in court some of those who breached the Capitol carried firearms and fought the police line with other weapons. 

The House committee also played radio traffic on Tuesday from police identifying firearms being carried in downtown Washington, DC, near the Ellipse. 

Police on Jan. 6 identified people carrying weapons, according to committee

Jan. 6 House select committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said the panel obtained information that people attending former President Trump's rally ahead of the Capitol attack had weapons that were confiscated — but police transmissions show that those outside the rally had firearms including AR-15s.

"When a president speaks, the Secret Service typically requires those attending to pass through metal detectors, known as magnetometers, or mags for short. The select committee has learned that people who willingly entered the enclosed area for President Trump's speech were screened so they could attend the rally at the Ellipse. They had weapons and other items that were confiscated — pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, tasers, body armor, gas masks, batons, blunt weapons. And those were just from the people who chose to go through the security for the president's event on the Ellipse, not the several thousand members of the crowd who refused to go through the mags and watched from the lawn near the Washington Monument," Cheney said.  

"The select committee has learned about reports from outside the magnetometers and has obtained police radio transmissions identifying individuals with firearms, including AR-15s near the Ellipse on the morning of Jan. 6," she said.

The committee then played radio transmissions with law enforcement identifying individuals who had pistols and AR-15s.

Hutchinson heard Proud Boys and Oath Keepers mentioned leading up to Jan. 6

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the committee she heard the names of two far-right groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper, mentioned leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. 

“I recall hearing the word ‘Oath Keeper’ and hearing the word ‘Proud Boys’ closer to the planning of the January 6 rally, when Mr. Giuliani would be around,” Hutchinson said in a video the committee played of one of her previous depositions.  

Vice Chairmwoman Liz Cheney noted that “Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the Proud Boys for Jan. 6.”

Dozens of people connected to the Proud Boys have been arrested for their alleged participation in the Capitol riot, and leaders of both groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged role that day, some of whom provided security that day for allies to President Donald Trump, including Roger Stone.  

During the hearing, Cheney said the White House had received information specifically about the Proud Boys and their plans for Jan. 6. 

“The White House continued to receive updates about planned demonstrations,” Cheney said, “including information regarding the Proud Boys’ organizing and planning to attend events on Jan. 6.”

According to Cheney, the Capitol Police issued a “Special Event Assessment” on Jan. 3, 2021, warning that the Proud Boys and other groups planned to be in Washington on Jan. 6 and “Congress itself is the target” that day.  

Meadows told aide "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6," she testifies to committee

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told his aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 2, 2021, that "things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6," she testified to the Jan. 6 House select committee on Tuesday.

She said he told her this after she spoke with former President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who told her "something to the effect of 'we're going to the Capitol.'"

Hutchinson said that Meadows "was scrolling through his phone; I remember leaning against the doorway and saying, 'I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. It sounds like we're going to go to the Capitol.' He didn't look up from his phone and said something to the effect of 'there's a lot going on, Cass, but I don't know, things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6."

"That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on Jan. 6," she said.

Days before the riot, Rudy Giuliani told Hutchinson "we're going to the Capitol" on Jan. 6

Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified Tuesday that former President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on Jan. 2, 2021 — four days before the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters – that “we’re going to the Capitol” on Jan. 6, 2021 and that Trump himself was also planning to be there.

"As Mr. Giuliani and I were walking to his vehicle that evening, he looked at me and said something to the effect of 'Cass, are you excited for the sixth? It's going to be a great day.' I remember looking at him and saying, 'Rudy, can you explain what's happening on the sixth?' And he responded something to the effect of 'we're going to the Capitol. It's going to be great. The President's going to be there. He's going to look powerful. He's going to be with the members. He's going to be with the senators. Talk to the chief about it. Talk to the chief about it. He knows about it.'"

More context: It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but Hutchinson’s testimony establishes for the first time that people around Trump had advance knowledge of this plan.

Hutchinson also said during her testimony that she told her boss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, about Giuliani’s comments, shortly after he made them on Jan. 2, 2021. According to Hutchinson, Meadows “didn’t look up from his phone” during their conversation, but did tell her something to the effect of, “there’s a lot going on… but things might get real, real bad on January 6.” 

She testified that these conversations made her feel “scared” about what was going to happen.

Hutchinson’s testimony Tuesday undermines Meadows’ recent book. He wrote that Trump ad-libbed his lines during his speech that “we're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… and we're going to the Capitol,” and that this set off a scramble in the moment to figure out if Trump could feasibly make it to the Capitol.

Rep. Cheney: Hutchinson's testimony is Relevant to "future hearings"

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said in an opening statement that Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony "touches on several important and cross-cutting topics, topics that are relevant to each of our future hearings."

"In her role working for the White House chief of staff, Miss Hutchinson handled a vast number of sensitive issues. She worked in the West Wing several steps down the hall from the oval office. She spoke daily with members of Congress, with high-ranking officials in the administration, with senior White House staff, including Mr. Meadows," she said.

Cheney said that Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, was "in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House."

Cheney said that Hutchinson has "already sat for four videotaped interviews with committee investigators."

"Again, our future hearings will supply greater detail, putting the testimony today in a broader and more complete context," she said.

Cassidy Hutchinson gave four videotaped interviews to the Jan. 6 committee

 Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows who is testifying before the Jan. 6 committee, sat for four videotaped interviews prior to the hearing, said GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice-chair of the committee.

"Ms. Hutchinson was in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House. She has already sat for four videotaped interviews with committee investigators, and we thank her very much for her cooperation and for her courage," Cheney said at the beginning of the hearing.

Jan. 6 committee details Cassidy Hutchinson’s proximity to top White House officials

Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, established at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing that Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is among the most knowledgeable witnesses interviewed by the panel because of her close proximity to a variety of key players in the West Wing. 

Not only did Hutchinson work in the West Wing, “several steps down the hall from the Oval Office,” but also “spoke daily with members of Congress, with high-ranking officials in the administration, with senior White House staff, including Mr. Meadows, with White House Counsel’s office lawyers, and with Mr. Tony Ornato who served as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff,” Cheney said. 

“She also worked on a daily basis with members of the Secret Service who were posted in the White House,” she added. “In short, Ms. Hutchinson was in a position to know a great deal about the happenings in the Trump White House."

Hutchinson has already sat for four video-taped interviews with the committee, Cheney also noted.  

CNN previously reported that Hutchinson went over "new ground" with the committee last month, though it was not immediately clear what was discussed during that deposition.

During one hearing last week, the committee played a video clip of Hutchinson testifying that Meadows and former President Donald Trump's onetime attorney Rudy Giuliani were involved in early conversations about putting forward fake slates of electors — a core tenet of the broader effort to overturn the 2020 election.

The panel has also played video of Hutchinson testifying that Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, wanted then-Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark to take over the department — connecting another key part of Trump's effort to upend Joe Biden's election win.

Hutchinson has named several Republican members of Congress who she said had inquired about pardons, either for themselves or others, around Jan. 6, 2021, according to other video played by the committee during its hearings, including: Perry and Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Louie Gohmert of Texas.

CNN has reported that during one of her interviews with the committee, Hutchinson said Trump had suggested to Meadows that he approved of the "hang Mike Pence" chants from rioters who stormed the US Capitol. 

She also testified that Trump had complained about his then-vice president being hustled to safety while Trump supporters breached the Capitol, the sources previously told CNN.